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For over 50 years, the Patio Ranch has been involved in the conservation of endangered species. The programs began in the early 1970’s when a small number of barasingha, also known as “Swamp Deer,” were brought to the ranch. This species of deer, native to the Indian subcontinent, is currently either fragmented, isolated, or extinct in its original habitat. In order to grow the population at the ranch, and to do so with the end goal of producing the highest quality animals, an intensive selective breeding program was initiated. This hugely successful program resulted in the spectacular, huntable herd that can be seen at the Patio today. Individual animals have been sent to zoos and private ranches all around the United States to help start new barasingha herds or augment existing herds with genetically diverse animals to mitigate the inbreeding quotient.
Addax Antelope were also introduced to the Patio Ranch in the 1970’s. This African desert antelope species is, to this day, classified as critically endangered in the wild, but is now a common sight on game ranches due to superior land management and selective breeding practices. The Addax took to the Hill Country extremely well, and have thrived in their “second home,” to the point that their numbers are healthy enough to provide both hunting opportunities and live animal sales to other exotic game ranches.
Another special program was started in 1997 when Arabian Oryx were introduced on the Patio Ranch. Originally from the Arabian Peninsula and parts of the Middle East, the population was unethically hunted to near extinction by oil executives and royalty, so conservation groups rallied together to translocate animals to established ranches with the intention of growing the population to a point where they could eventually be reintroduced to their native territories. The work done by these ranches over the decades is turning this dream into a soon to be realized reality.
These endangered species are maintained on the Patio Ranch under the strict regulation of the Captive-Bred Wildlife Program and the Endangered Species Program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The structure and guidance of these federal programs will help ensure that future generations in Texas, the United States and the rest of the world will always be able enjoy the beauty of these animals.