Environment
3:15 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Feds Propose Designating Four More Endangered Salamanders

Four salamander species native to Central Texas have moved closer to being classified as "endangered" by the federal government.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service opened a 60-day public comment period today, asking for feedback on its proposal to protect four salamanders that live only in the waters of the Edwards Aquifer.

The four species are the Austin Blind Salamander (Eurycea waterlooensis), Jollyville Plateau salamander (Eurycea tonkawae), Georgetown salamander (Eurycea naufragia), and the Salado salamander (Eurycea chisholmensis).

They join the Barton Springs salamander and the Texas Blind salamander, both designated "endangered" by the federal government, and the San Marcos salamander, designated as "threatened."

The four salamander species are presently in danger of extinction throughout their range based on threats from habitat degradation, including reduced water quality and quantity and disturbance of spring sites.

Almost 6,000 acres in Travis, Williamson, and Bell counties would be marked as "critical habitat" under the proposal.

Two public meetings are scheduled:

September 5, 2012 – Williamson County
       Informational meeting – 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
       Public hearing – 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
       Wingate by Wyndham Round Rock
       1209 N. IH 35 North, Exit 253 at Hwy 79
       Round Rock, Texas 78664

September 6, 2012 – Travis County
       Informational meeting - 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
       Public hearing - 8:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
       Thompson Conference Center
       2405 Robert Dedman Drive, Room 2.102