Transect-based, mark-recapture surveys were conducted in 10 of those years to locate living and dead tortoises. Previous modeling suggested that this area would become unsuitable as tortoise habitat under a warming and drying climate scenario. Estimated adult population size declined greatly from to The population appeared to have high apparent survival from to but apparent survival decreased from to , concurrent with persistent drought.
The postures and positions of a majority of dead tortoises found in were consistent with death by dehydration and starvation. Some live and many dead tortoises found in showed signs of predation or scavenging by mammalian carnivores. Coyote Canis latrans scats and other evidence from the site confirmed their role as tortoise predators and scavengers. Predation rates may be exacerbated by drought if carnivores switch from preferred mammalian prey to tortoises during dry years. Climate modeling suggests that the region will be subjected to even longer duration droughts in the future and that the plot may become unsuitable for continued tortoise survival.
In the s, white Democrats wrested power back in the state legislature from the biracial coalition at the end of Reconstruction. In the early 20th century, the legislature passed bills to impose poll taxes , followed by white primaries ; these measures effectively disfranchised most blacks, poor whites and Mexican Americans.
It held power until after passage in the mids of national civil rights legislation enforcing constitutional rights of all citizens. Although Texas was essentially a one-party state during this time and the Democratic primary was viewed as "the real election," the Democratic Party had conservative and liberal factions, which became more pronounced after the New Deal. The state's conservative white voters began to support Republican presidential candidates by the midth century. After this period, they supported Republicans for local and state offices as well, and most whites became Republican Party members.
The shift to the Republican Party is much-attributed to the fact the Democratic Party became increasingly liberal during the 20th century, and thus increasingly out-of-touch with the average Texas voter. Despite these efforts, the legislature passed a map heavily in favor of Republicans, based on data and ignoring the estimated nearly one million new residents in the state since that date. Career attorneys and analysts at the Department of Justice objected to the plan as diluting the votes of African American and Hispanic voters, but political appointees overrode them and approved it.
Perry , but the court ruled in favor of the state and Republicans. In the Texas elections , the Tea Party movement made large gains, with numerous Tea Party favorites being elected into office, including Dan Patrick as lieutenant governor,   Ken Paxton as attorney general,   in addition to numerous other candidates  including conservative Republican Greg Abbott as governor. Texas voters lean toward fiscal conservatism , while enjoying the benefits of huge federal investment in the state in military and other facilities achieved by the power of the Solid South in the 20th century.
They also tend to have socially conservative values. Since , most Texas voters have supported Republican presidential candidates. In and , Republican George W. Bush won Texas with respectively John McCain won the state in , but with a smaller margin of victory compared to Bush at 55 percent of the vote.
Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio consistently lean Democratic in both local and statewide elections.
As of the general elections of , a large majority of the members of Texas's U. House delegation are Republican , along with both U. One seat is vacant. Since , Texans have not elected a Democrat to a statewide office. Texas has counties — the most nationwide. Each county runs on Commissioners' Court system consisting of four elected commissioners one from each of four precincts in the county, roughly divided according to population and a county judge elected at large from the entire county.
County government runs similar to a "weak" mayor-council system; the county judge has no veto authority, but votes along with the other commissioners. Although Texas permits cities and counties to enter "interlocal agreements" to share services, the state does not allow consolidated city-county governments, nor does it have metropolitan governments. Counties are not granted home rule status; their powers are strictly defined by state law. The state does not have townships— areas within a county are either incorporated or unincorporated.
Incorporated areas are part of a municipality. The county provides limited services to unincorporated areas and to some smaller incorporated areas. Municipalities are classified either "general law" cities or "home rule".
Texas also permits the creation of "special districts", which provide limited services. The most common is the school district , but can also include hospital districts, community college districts, and utility districts one utility district near Austin was the plaintiff in a landmark Supreme Court case involving the Voting Rights Act.
Municipal, school district, and special district elections are nonpartisan ,  though the party affiliation of a candidate may be well-known. County and state elections are partisan. Texas has a reputation of very harsh criminal punishment for criminal offenses. Texas's large population, abundance of natural resources, thriving cities and leading centers of higher education have contributed to a large and diverse economy.
Since oil was discovered, the state's economy has reflected the state of the petroleum industry. In recent times, urban centers of the state have increased in size, containing two-thirds of the population in The state's economic growth has led to urban sprawl and its associated symptoms.
As of April , the state's unemployment rate is 6. In , Site Selection Magazine ranked Texas as the most business-friendly state in the nation, in part because of the state's three-billion-dollar Texas Enterprise Fund. In , there were , millionaires in Texas, constituting the second-largest population of millionaires in the nation. Texas has a "low taxes, low services" reputation. Instead, the state collects revenue from property taxes though these are collected at the county, city, and school district level; Texas has a state constitutional prohibition against a state property tax and sales taxes.
The state sales tax rate is 6.
Texas has the most farms and the highest acreage in the United States. The state is ranked No. It is ranked No. Texas leads the nation in the production of cattle, horses, sheep, goats, wool, mohair and hay. With mineral resources, Texas leads in creating cement, crushed stone, lime, salt, sand and gravel. Texas throughout the 21st century has been hammered by drought. This has cost the state billions of dollars in livestock and crops. Ever since the discovery of oil at Spindletop , energy has been a dominant force politically and economically within the state.
The Railroad Commission of Texas , contrary to its name, regulates the state's oil and gas industry , gas utilities, pipeline safety, safety in the liquefied petroleum gas industry, and surface coal and uranium mining. Until the s, the commission controlled the price of petroleum because of its ability to regulate Texas's oil reserves. According to the Energy Information Administration , Texans consume, on average, the fifth most energy of all types in the nation per capita and as a whole, following behind Wyoming, Alaska, Louisiana, North Dakota, and Iowa.
Unlike the rest of the nation, most of Texas is on its own alternating current power grid , the Texas Interconnection. Texas has a deregulated electric service.
The state is a leader in renewable energy commercialization ; it produces the most wind power in the nation. The state also has the highest solar power potential for development in the nation. With large universities systems coupled with initiatives like the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Texas Emerging Technology Fund , a wide array of different high tech industries have developed in Texas. Texas has the headquarters of many high technology companies, such as Dell , Inc.
Texas's affluence stimulates a strong commercial sector consisting of retail, wholesale, banking and insurance, and construction industries.
source url As of , the state had 3. Texas from to had the fastest growing illegal immigration rate in the nation.
Peter Dean: Blazing Paint. Kusky TM, ed Precambrian ophiolites and related rocks. Armstrong had a camp here through , and during and , there were several miners working small mines nearby. Altschuler ZS The geochemistry of trace elements in marine phosphorites, Part I: Characteristic asbundances and enrichment. The Uncle Tom, with a 1, foot tunnel, at that time employed 3 men. Geol Surv of Canada, p Google Scholar.
This was the fifth highest percentage of any state in the country. Texas's Rio Grande Valley has seen significant migration from across the U. During the crisis , many Central Americans , including unaccompanied minors traveling alone from Guatemala , Honduras , and El Salvador , reached the state, overwhelming Border Patrol resources for a time.
Many sought asylum in the United States. In , the U. Department of Homeland Security estimated 1. Texas's population density is In contrast, while Texas and France are similarly sized geographically, the European country has a population density of Two-thirds of all Texans live in a major metropolitan area such as Houston.