Skip to main content
Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation

Borderlands Research Institute

Keeping Texas Wild

TPWF partners with the Borderlands Research Institute at Sul Ross State University to raise funds for research to better understand what the wild things in our state need to flourish.

About the Partner

Black bears once roamed free all across the Trans-Pecos. Pronghorn once moved in huge numbers across the Texas plains. Bighorn sheep historically occupied 15-16 mountain ranges in the Trans-Pecos region. All of these populations are at risk, but the partnership between TPWF and the Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) is working to protect these iconic animals. 

Though black bears once ranged across the Trans-Pecos, by the 1950s they had mostly disappeared. More recently, they’ve begun to repopulate into Texas from Mexico. The BRI is committed to tracking and researching black bears to learn more about their population growth and habitat needs and to understand how their presence affects the area’s human population.

In 2009, West Texas biologists and ranchers began to notice a decline in the pronghorn population. Disease, predation, and habitat quality were all identified as decline factors. Addressing these factors was prioritized, but then another idea began to emerge. As the population continued to decline, the folks working on stabilizing the pronghorn population realized that the relocation of healthy pronghorns from the Panhandle should be part of their efforts. After several successful relocations, Trans-Pecos pronghorn populations have begun to improve.

The bighorn sheep population has declined as much as 50 percent in Texas since 2020. The disease causing the decline has been identified, but the extent to which the disease impacts herds in Texas is unknown. There has been much research into the disease affecting bighorn sheep in other western states. This wealth of knowledge can help officials in Texas make informed decisions about how to approach the problem here. Working together with TPWD, BRI, and TWPF, efforts are being made to better understand how the problem of bighorn sheep population decline can be addressed.

TPWF works in partnership with BRI to amplify their important work researching what we can do to ensure these wild things endure in the wild places of Texas.

At a Glance

3 Species

with conservation needs

150+ Sites Visited

to further black bear research

20,000+ Acres

opened up for pronghorn herd movement

Help us Keep Texas Wild

Help ensure that every Texan, now an in the future, can enjoy, explore, and be inspired by the wild things and wild places in Texas.

Donate Today