Sites are located in the southeast Edward's Plateau eco-region in northwest Bexar County. This land is characterized by steep hill county canyons, limestone creek beds, and oak-Ashe juniper vegetation, where GCWA are expected to occur (Campbell 1995).
The Texas Hill Country with its unique assemblage of mature oak-Ashe-Juniper woodlands is well known for its unique ecosystems supporting two federally endangered summer breeding residents; the Golden-cheeked Warbler (GCW) and Black-capped Vireo (BCV). The sites listed in this IBA are additionally important because they occur in the southern most portion of both species range. Both species have experienced population declines as a result of large losses and degradations of available breeding habitat in this area. Much of the available habitat within the range of these two species has been converted to rangeland for livestock and/or clearing for housing and retail developments.
Housing and retail development is a major threat to all these sites. The increase destruction of habitat surrounding these areas makes these sites more important to GCWA each year. Partners are working to create a corridor connecting these and other sites to lessen the impact of further fragmentation.
A water reservoir has been proposed for Government Canyon State Natural Area. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is working to block its development but the issue has yet to be finalized. This reservoir would inundate several hundred acres of critical habitat if allowed to continue.
The sites included in this IBA highlight the benefit of partnerships between private, local, and state stakeholders.
Steep hill country canyons, limestone creek beds made up of Oak-Ashe Juniper vegetation.
Ninety-seven percent of the total area is designated natural area and open to the public in the way of hiking trails. Of the 97%, an estimated of about 20% of the property is impacted by hikers, bikers, bird watchers, etc.