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An alligator lurks in one of the canals being used to restore the wetlands of Mad Island Marsh Preserve.<br />
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The marsh, part of the Matagorda Bay estuarine habitat, on the Texas Gulf Coast, lies at the terminus of the Central Flyway, one of four principal North American migratory bird routes. Nearly 250 species of birds--including migrating and resident songbirds, shorebirds, colonial nesting birds, and wading birds--use the area for feeding, resting and roosting. Yet, the preserve's upland prairies represent a part of the remaining 2 percent of the original tallgrass coastal prairies once found across Texas.