Edwards plateau

Country/Territory USA
Area 0 km2
Altitude 0 - 0m
Priority -
Habitat loss -
Knowledge -

General characteristics

Edwards plateau is a large, primarily limestone area of the 'Hill Country' of central Texas, USA (see map, p. 106). The area is characterized by (in the Lampasas Cut plain) low grass-covered hills (generally below 1,000 m) and oak-juniper woodland (although much land has been cleared for grazing), and (in the Balcones canyonlands) steep, narrow canyons with tall deciduous trees (especially Spanish oaks) along the drainage bottoms and a mix of junipers and oaks (especially Texas live oaks) on the slopes. Edwards plateau has been identified as a Secondary Area due to the presence of the threatened Golden-cheeked Warbler Dendroica chrysoparia (classified as Endangered), which currently nests in just 30 Texas counties, primarily in the Balcones canyonlands or in nearby areas with similar geology and vegetation. The species is dependent on mature ashe juniper Juniperus ashei for nesting, but is equally dependent on a variety of mature oaks for foraging. Urbanization and land-clearance for agriculture have reduced the extent of suitable habitat for D. chrysoparia to just 300-1,000 km2 (Kroll 1980, Sexton 1992, Kutac and Caran 1994). The species winters in highland pine and pine-oak-madrone habitats in southern Mexico and northern Central America (primarily in the North Central American highlands, EBA 018). The more widespread but equally threatened Black-capped Vireo Vireo atricapillus (Endangered) also breeds on Edwards plateau, primarily in regenerating sumac-madrone-oak thickets adjacent to and among the mature oak-juniper woodland utilized by the Golden-cheeked Warbler.

Restricted-range species

Species IUCN Category
Golden-cheeked Warbler (Setophaga chrysoparia) EN

Important Bird Areas (IBAs)
IBA Code Site Name Country
Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge USA
Balcones Canyonlands Preserve USA
Brown Property USA
Fort Hood USA
Nature Conservancy Love Creek Preserve USA
Southernmost Edwards Plateau USA

Threat and conservation

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Endemic Bird Areas factsheet: Edwards plateau. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 04/12/2021.