Naturalists Convene in the Thicket

Posted by: Mona Halvorsen 2 years, 7 months ago

They came, naturalists all.  Inspired through online communications they trekked to the Thicket’s woods to view and count, to share knowledge and to discover.  Using the online social network and app iNaturalist approximately 29 citizen scientists snapped pictures and sound recordings and uploaded them to the cloud. 

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Posted by: Mona Halvorsen in ATBI, Macro Fungi, Mushroom 2 years, 7 months ago


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Aliens Among Us

Posted by: Mona Halvorsen in ATBI, BITH News Release, Hike, Thicket of Diversity 2 years, 7 months ago

Date & Time: 11/05/2016 9:30 AM

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Summer 2016 Ranger-led Program Schedule

Posted by: Mona Halvorsen in Big Thicket National Preserve, BITH News Release 3 years, 1 month ago

Big Thicket National Preserve
Summer 2016 Ranger-led Program Schedule

KOUNTZE, Texas, May 3, 2016– The staff of Big Thicket National Preserve invites everyone to explore the thicket by taking advantage the many ranger-led programs being offered in the months of May, June, July and August.
From canoe trips to a black bear presentation and night hikes through the thicket, park rangers will offer a variety of free programs. Some programs require participants to pre-register. Be sure to consult the Spring/Summer 2016 – Ranger-led Program Schedule. For detailed information on these programs visit our website at or follow us on Facebook at

Throughout 2016 we are inviting visitors to “Explore Your Thicket.” This 100-mile challenge is part of the preserve’s National Park Service Centennial Celebration. During the 12 months leading up to the 100th anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service (August 25, 2016), the staff at Big Thicket National Preserve invites you to rediscover your national park. This program challenges visitors to travel 100/50/25 miles, depending on age, through the preserve during our Centennial year (August, 2015 through August, 2016). Participants can paddle, hike, run, jog, travel on horseback, and even trek off-trail through the thicket. As you explore, you track your mileage, and once you reach the targeted miles, contact preserve staff so we can welcome you to the Centennial Club. We can also help you track your miles! Simply call the visitor center and tell us what you’ve accomplished.

Looking for other ways to participate in the Big Thicket’s Centennial year? We encourage everyone to participate in our “Share Your Thicket Centennial Photo Contest” while exploring the preserve. Park visitors are invited to submit photos via

The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage.
#BigThicketPhotoContest. Monthly winners will be chosen in three categories and displayed in our park visitor center, with an overall winner chosen in the fall of 2016.

More information about all of Big Thicket National Preserve’s 2016 Centennial activities is available at

Big Thicket National Preserve is located in southeast Texas, near the city Beaumont and 75 miles northeast of Houston. The preserve consists of nine land units and six water corridors encompassing more than 112,000 acres. The Big Thicket, often referred to as a “biological crossroads,” is a transition zone between four distinct vegetation types – the moist eastern hardwood forest, the southwestern desert, the southeastern swamp, and the central prairies. Species from all of these different vegetation types come together in the thicket, exhibiting a variety of vegetation and wildlife that has received national interest.

About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 409 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at

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Science Café: Crayfish of Big Thicket National Preserve

Posted by: Mona Halvorsen in ATBI, Big Thicket National Preserve, BITH News Release, Crawfish/Crayfish, Science Cafe 3 years, 3 months ago

Science Café: Crayfish of Big Thicket National Preserve

Big Thicket National Preserve and the Big Thicket Association, Science Café program series continues in March with a presentation from West Liberty University researcher Dr. Zachary Loughman on Friday, March 18th at 6 pm at the Logon Café, Beaumont. 

Dr. Loughman’s presentation will focus on his survey of crayfish in Big Thicket National Preserve. This survey will provide preserve managers and scientists with a baseline species inventory of crayfish, their habitats, and their conservation status, and give the general public the opportunity to become involved in science in the preserve.  
This is the first comprehensive crayfish study focused on the waterways of Big Thicket National Preserve. Prior surveys in the region of the Neches basin waterways documented 16 species of crayfish, an unusually high number for any watershed in the U.S. Given the diversity of wetland habitats in the preserve, it is likely that this study may find new species of crayfish here, as well as identify species at risk. 

Crayfishes are important members of Texas’s riparian ecosystems, in both still and moving waters. They both consume and provide tremendous amounts of nutrients in their roles as predators, scavengers, and prey, and their burrows provide refuges for many aquatic and terrestrial animals. 

Dr. Zachary Loughman is a professor of biology at West Liberty University in West Virginia. He has spent the last decade studying crayfishes across eastern and central North America, particularly in West Virginia and adjoining states. He completed a study documenting West Virginia’s crayfish, resulting in the WV Crayfish Atlas, and his work contributed to the development of West Virginia’s State Wildlife Action Plan. Dr. Loughman led field efforts in western Pennsylvania focused on determining the distribution of burrowing crayfishes, and has also worked with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to provide critical information on crayfish species of conservation concern.

As part of the All-Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) effort to identify and learn about all living organisms in the Big Thicket area, Dr.Loughman’s research provides valuable information on crayfish populations and ecology. Information gathered from these studies will help the National Park Service and other land management agencies make informed decisions about the lands and waters where we live, work, and recreate in, while helping to protect these areas for future generations. To learn more about this on-going All-Taxa Biodiversity Inventory, visit .

The Science Café is free and open to the public. This program will be held at Logon Café, 3805 Calder St, in Beaumont at 6 pm on Friday, March 18th. For more information, contact Park Ranger Mary Kay Manning at 409-951-6720.

For general information about Big Thicket National Preserve, visit or call the preserve visitor center at 409-951-6700. Visit us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 409 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at

Big Thicket National Preserve
National Park Service
U.S. Department of Interior

6044 FM 420
Kountze, Texas 77625
409-951-6700 - Visitor Information
409-951-6800 - Headquarters Office
@BigThicketNPS (Facebook, Twitter & Instagram)

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