Description - Topography of the South Texas Plains is level to rolling. Elevations range from 1,000 feet to about sea level. Thorny brush is the predominant vegetation type in the region, including mesquite, acacia, prickly pear, and mimosa, among others. Areas of shallow soils and rapid drainage generally support this plant life. A grassland or savanna type vegetation which
also occurs was somewhat more extensive in the 19th century and earlier, but long continued grazing and other factors have altered the plant communities to such a degree that ranches of the region now face a severe brush problem.
This region has a greater diversity of animal life than any other in Texas. It is home for many near tropical species which abound in Mexico, many grassland species that range northward, and some desert species commonly found in the Trans Pecos.
- This region offers a surprising number of state parks, lakes and historic sites which offer numerous outdoor recreation opportunities. Choke Canyon Lake is probably on of the most popular attractions. Choke Canyon State Park is found here. Other state parks in the region include Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley, Falcon, Government Canyon and Lake Casa Blanca International State Park. Some of the historic sites include Casa Navarro State Historic Park, Fannin Battleground State Historic Park and Sebastopol State Historic Park.
Bird and wildlife watchers may want to explore Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge along the Rio Grande River. Considered the jewel of the refuge system, this essential island of thorn forest habitat is host or home to nearly 400 different types of birds and a myriad of other species, including the indigo snake, malachite butterfly and the endangered ocelot.
Recreation - Popular activities in this region include fishing, boating, water skiing, camping, picnicking, and hiking. Other activities include viewing wildlife, birdwatching and viewing historic sites.
Climate - The average annual rainfall of 16 to 35 inches increases from west to east. Average monthly rainfall is lowest in January and February, and highest during May or June. After a midsummer depression, another peak is reached in September. Summer temperatures are high, with extremely high evaporation rates in the Laredo area.
The South Texas Plains region covers a large portion of south Texas. It reaches from the San Antonio area south to Laredo and the Rio Grande River. Major highways through the region include Interstates 35 and 37.