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      Nature Report: Historic ranches of deep south Texas

      The historic ranches of Deep South Texas are renown worldwide. The King, Kenedy, McAllen Guerra, Yturria and others share a rich history dating back some 250 years to original Spanish land grants that were in place long before Texas became a state.

      Sprawling across 825,000 acres King Ranch is one of the largest ranches in the world. Its more than 1,300 square miles make it larger than the entire state of Rhode Island.

      Along with other legendary ranches in Deep South Texas these properties form what is called by some the "Last Great Habitat." South Texas is one of the last regions in the state that has extensive tracts of contiguous wildlife habitat, and this "Great habitat" supports an astonishing diversity of plants and animals."

      Rich in history and wildlife, this private land is the cornerstone of conservation in the state. The ranch country of southernmost Texas is one of the most biologically diverse regions in the Untied States with an astonishing 1,200 varieties of plants and more than 700 vertebrate species and 521 species of birds and counting.

      More than 95 percent of the remaining wildlands in Texas are in the hands of private landowners, and these South Texas ranchers who are dedicated stewards of the land hold the key to wildlife conservation in the state.

      On Saturday April 9th at 6:30 in the evening right here on Action Four News we will travel behind the gates and explore the

      extraordinary tales of how these ranches came to be and how despite myriad hardships are somehow kept together for generations.

      With your Nature Report I'm Richard Moore