Travis Audubon Advocacy Priorities

What We Stand For


Inspiring conservation through birding.


Travis Audubon promotes the enjoyment, understanding, and conservation of native birds through:

  • Inclusive Environmental Education
  • Habitat Protection, Restoration, and Management
  • Conservation Advocacy

Our advocacy priorities are fully aligned with our mission. They include:

  • Bird-friendly Communities
  • Land and Water Protection
  • Preserving Biodiversity
  • Inclusion and Diversity
  • Climate Advocacy

Bird-friendly Communities

Over the past century, human transformation of farmland and native habitats to urban and suburban areas have modified the ecosystems that birds and wildlife need. We can help make Central Texas cities and homes friendlier to the hundreds of native and migratory bird species who need to travel through, breed, and winter in our rapidly developing area. Here is how we are working to create a bird-friendlier environment in our local communities.


  • Lights Out

    Limiting light pollution is a win for both humans and birds. Data show that the two billion birds who fly through Texas skies each spring and fall can avoid building collisions and life-threatening distractions if we turn off nonessential indoor and outdoor lighting from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. during migration. (Read more: Lights Out Texas)


  • Bird-friendly Building Design

    Lights and glass present challenges to birds in cities, and improvements in both materials and technology allow us to make homes and buildings visible to birds so they can avoid collisions. (Read more: American Bird Conservancy: Glass Collisions)


  • Keeping Cats Indoors

    Cats are beloved pets, but cat predation is by far the largest source of direct, human-caused mortality to birds. Keeping cats indoors is better for cats and for wildlife: it increases pets’ life expectancy, minimizes their disruption of the ecosystem, and saves birds’ lives. (Read more: American Bird Conservancy: Cats and Birds)


Land and Water Protection

Travis Audubon is committed to protecting and preserving what is unique about Austin and the Texas Hill Country. From the beauty of the Lower Colorado River to the magnificent Balcones Canyonlands, we are working to ensure that people and nature can thrive together in a rapidly growing metropolitan area.

  • Preserve the Balcones Canyonlands

    The Balcones Canyonlands Preserve (BCP) is one of the nation’s largest urban preserves, covering more than 33,000 acres – about 50 square miles. It is made up of more than 140 individual tracts managed by both public and private partners and includes the iconic Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge and our own Baker Sanctuary. The BCP was created in 1996 to protect habitat for the endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler, the Black-capped Vireo and other endangered or threatened species. The BCP is a model conservation partnership and Travis Audubon remains fully committed to its conservation goals. (Read more: Balcones Canyonlands Preserve)


  • Protect the Colorado River

    With the rapid growth of our community, demand for water is soaring at a time when our waterways face threats from development, drought, runoff and algae blooms. Through partnerships with organizations like the new Colorado River Conservancy, Travis Audubon is committed to ensuring that the Colorado River continues to be a source of safe drinking water while providing high-quality recreational opportunities and habitat beneficial to aquatic species, birds and other wildlife. (Read more: Colorado River Conservancy)


  • Promoting Conservation Opportunities for Everyone

    Travis Audubon supports actions to provide all people open spaces they can enjoy. For example, our Blair Woods sanctuary is a 10-acre urban oasis open to everyone for hands-on nature immersion in East Austin. Travis Audubon is working to make Blair Woods a biodiverse center for environmental education to benefit the entire community. (Read more: Blair Woods Sanctuary)


Preserving Biodiversity

We are in a biodiversity crisis. North America has seen a 33 percent loss in biodiversity since 1970, including a 29 percent decline in bird populations. Travis Audubon promotes strategies to increase the use of native plants, restore prairie habitats, decrease pesticide use, protect habitat for endangered and threatened species and increase funding for wildlife protection.

  • Protect Golden-cheeked Warbler Habitat

    The Golden-cheeked Warbler was first listed as endangered in 1990. Since then, its population has faced increased threats from the rapid development of the Hill Country. Travis Audubon opposes efforts to remove the Golden-cheeked Warbler’s endangered species status and will partner with other conservation interests to protect its habitats that are vulnerable to overdevelopment. (Read more: (Read more: Travis Audubon: The Golden-cheeked Warbler)


  • Grassland and Prairie Restoration

    Grasslands and prairies are an iconic part of Texas culture and history. Yet today, less than one percent of Texas’ native grasslands remain intact, putting enormous stress on birds and other wildlife. Grassland birds are among our most threatened species, having declined by more than 40 percent since 1970. Building on the success of our restoration efforts at Commons Ford Prairie, we are engaging with government and private interests to expand prairie restoration efforts and protect other important habitats, including the Colorado River and the Balcones Canyonlands. (Read more: Travis Audubon: Commons Ford Prairie)


  • Plants for Birds (and Pollinators)

    As urban sprawl continues in Central Texas, birds, pollinators and other wildlife are losing the places they need and falling prey to the overuse of harmful pesticides, fertilizers and the use of invasive plants in landscaping. Travis Audubon supports simple steps to restore native habitats one property at a time, including our own homes. (Read more: Travis Audubon: Gardening Resources)


  • Support Common-sense Legislation

    According to the National Wildlife Federation, more than 1,600 U.S. species are already listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act, more than 150 U.S. species already have gone extinct and nearly 500 additional species have not been seen in years and are regarded as possibly extinct. Travis Audubon supports efforts to increase funding for on-the-ground, state-driven conservation efforts to help species already identified as threatened or endangered. (Read more: TPRD: Conservation Delivery Through the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act)


Inclusion and Diversity

Inclusion, diversity, equity and access (IDEA) are not tangential to the protection of birds and bird habitat – they are essential to achieving these aims. To succeed in our mission to inspire conservation through birding, we must increase access, opportunity and enjoyment of birds for everyone, especially for people and communities who have long been underserved.

  • Promoting Conservation and Environmental Equity

    Travis Audubon is committed to ensuring that all people—Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, LGBTQ+, people of all abilities, ages, and socioeconomic status—are welcome in our organization and feel safe and invited to enjoy birds and nature. We also recognize that we must partner with and amplify the voices of vulnerable populations as they seek to connect with nature.  (Read more: Travis Audubon’s IDEA Statement)


  • Let’s Go Birding Together

    Everyone deserves to spend time in nature without fear about their safety or wondering if they will be welcome into a group. Let’s Go Birding Together intentionally welcomes the LGBTQ+ community to enjoy birds and nature in safe environment. Our free, monthly LGBT birding walks allow everyone to experience the joys of nature in an affirming and inclusive space. (Read more: Let’s Go Birding Together)


  • Birdability

    Travis Audubon is proud to have served as an incubator and founding supporter of Birdability. This non-profit, which was started by long-term TAS member Virginia Rose, strives to ensure the birding community and the outdoors are welcoming, inclusive, safe and accessible for “Every Body”. (Read more: Birdability)


  • Diversity, Inclusion, and Ethical Conduct in all we do

    Travis Audubon works to provide a safe, enjoyable experience for everyone who participates in our programs and to provide a model of respect for birds and other wildlife. Our Code of Conduct defines our expectations for staff, volunteers and participants in our programs and activities. (Read more: Travis Audubon’s Code of Conduct)


Climate Advocacy

Human-made carbon emissions cause rising temperatures, extreme weather events and shifting weather patterns, affecting birds’ and other wildlife’s ability to find food and reproduce. The Golden-cheeked Warbler, nesting only in Central Texas, is one local example. With just three degrees of warming, this habitat could shift northward, risking the bird’s extinction if it is unable to adapt. Here’s how Travis Audubon is working to help our communities address our changing environment.

  • Environmental Education

    Travis Audubon works to educate Central Texans about the impacts of a changing climate through programs with schools, family education events, our monthly speaker series, our Young Women in Conservation program and our Youth Birding Camp. We sponsor bird counts and surveys and teach community members to use tools like eBird and iNaturalist to contribute to community science and develop a baseline for scientists worldwide. (Read More: Community Science)


  • Promoting Personal Responsibility

    Travis Audubon encourages members to understand how our actions affect our carbon footprint. Home energy consumption accounts for nearly 40 percent of U.S. emissions, but simple steps such as carpooling and improving insulation could could cut those emissions enough to offset emissions from refineries, iron and steel works, and aluminum smelters combined. Protecting our water, air, and wildlife also generates revenue: a Texas A&M study found that birding and ecotourism generates more than $9 billion dollars for the Texas economy every year. (Read more: EPA: What You Can Do About Climate Change)


  • Advocating Structural Change

    Travis Audubon supports policies and actions to mitigate climate impact by promoting green buildings, natural infrastructure, mass transit, and walkable/bikeable communities. Green building is more sustainable, reduces runoff that contributes to flooding, and curbs the urban heat-island effect that can magnify emissions. Natural infrastructure, like a wetland that absorbs floodwaters, is a win-win for birds, people, and economies because, by simply restoring or leaving nature alone, we support fishing, wildlife watching, and tourism. (Read more: Austin Climate Equity Plan)


  • Partnerships With Allied Organizations

    Travis Audubon partners with organizations committed to reducing climate impact. For example, we support the Shoal Creek Conservancy in its effort to create a series of hike and bike trails throughout the 11-mile Shoal Creek corridor. We also partner with other conservation groups on legislation and community outreach efforts, including the new Colorado River Conservancy, aimed at protecting the Lower Colorado for everyone to enjoy. (Read more: Travis Audubon: Partners)



Bird-friendly Communities

Land and Water Protection

Preserving Biodiversity

Climate Advocacy


  • Hooded Merganser by Raymond Hennessy
  • Golden-cheeked Warbler
  • Lights Out by Nora Chovanec
  • Baker Sanctuary
  • Black-capped Vireo by Danny Hancock
  • Birdability by Wayne Jeansonne
  • American Goldfinch by Ann Pacheco
  • Blue Jay by Marie Schmidt