In the continuing series on ‘People Who Make A Difference’ in the south Texas outdoors, Richard Moore features Caesar Kleberg, the “Father of Wildlife Conservation in Texas.”
Caesar Kleberg is the “Father of Wildlife Conservation in Texas,” as was decreed by the Texas legislature in 2009.
Born in Cuero Texas in 1873, he went to work at age 27 for Henrietta King, widow of King Ranch founder Richard King.
While overseeing the 230,000-acre Norias division of King Ranch, he observed wildlife was disappearing due to unregulated hunting and set groundbreaking hunting regulations in 1912.
Later, he was appointed to the Texas Game, Fish and Oyster Commission serving on that predecessor of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for more than a decade, where he helped enact the first statewide hunting regulations.
His conservation accomplishments ranged fare beyond King Ranch, as he was also a guiding influence for the passage of the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act of 1934, known today as the Duck Stamp.
King Ranch heir Tio Kleberg is proud of Caesar’s far-reaching conservation legacy.
“Caesar was involved not only with the game that was here in South Texas, but he was very observant of the migratory game that came and left Norias his home.”
Before his death in 1946, he drafted his will to create the Caesar Kleberg Foundation for Wildlife Conservation, which led to the creation of Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M Kingsville, which is the leading wildlife research organization in Texas.
“He felt that the conservation of wildlife was so important to all of this area, and obviously dedicated his entire estate to that resource.” said Tio Kleberg.
Caesar’s remarkable conservation legacy lives on thru the many students that graduate from the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute and go on to accomplish great deeds for wildlife throughout the world.