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The Austin Blind Salamander is one of the species now listed as endangered in Central Texas.

What is the Endangered Species List?

Background

The endangered species list is comprised of animals deemed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to be on the brink of extinction. When a species is added to the list, development in their habitat may be restricted. In Texas, areas of residential, commercial and drilling development have intersected with the habitat of species either on the list or under consideration for inclusion.

The list was signed into law as part of the Endangered Species Act in 1973 by President Richard Nixon.

Latest Posts

Is the Increasingly Rare Alligator Snapping Turtle Next on Endangered List?

A new study places one of Texas’ strangest—and most imposing—reptiles in a very precarious position. Published in Zootaxa, the study confirms that the alligator snapping turtle, thought to be just a single species, is actually three genetically distinct species. Alligator snapping turtles, dinosaurian creatures that range throughout river systems in the American Southeast, are the [...]

How Budget Cuts and Oil Spills Threaten ‘World’s Most Endangered Sea Turtle’

Around this time every year, female Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles arrive like clockwork on Matagorda Island, on the Texas Gulf Coast. “During the day they’ll craw up, usually closer to the dunes, and they’ll dig out an area and they’ll lay a nest of several eggs,” says Jeremy Edwardson, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife [...]

Experts Fear Impacts of Oil Cleanup on Texas Gulf Coast

MATAGORDA ISLAND, TX — Recovery efforts continue weeks after a barge accident in the Houston Ship Channel dumped tens of thousands of barrels of oil into Galveston Bay. That oil kills wildlife and damages the environment. But some are worried the cleanup itself could also disturb the ecosystem along the Texas Gulf Coast. Nowhere is [...]

How Researchers Are Recording the Sound of a Massive Bat Die-Off

Photo Courtesy of USFWS/Ann Froschauer This species of Little Brown Bat was once common in the Northeast, but has been devastated by white-nose syndrome. If you’ve ever tried to evict an unwelcome bat from your home, you know it can be tricky. If you haven’t, imagine trying to coax an agile mouse into a laundry [...]

Here’s Where Salamanders Will Be Protected in Central Texas

You can welcome two Central Texas salamanders this week to the list of animals protected under the Endangered Species Act. The Austin Blind Salamander, a creature that doesn’t have eyes in the traditional sense and lives in the dark depths of the Barton Springs Pool, has been listed by the US Fish & Wildlife Service [...]

How Do You Save Hundreds of Species in Texas ?

Last week, the African Rhino Specialist Group (AfRSG) confirmed the extinction of the western black rhinoceros. Although the species had initially been declared extinct in 2011, a final search failed to find any remaining rhinos. While Texas doesn’t have a thriving rhinoceros population, the news got StateImpact Texas thinking about which species from our state may face [...]

Texas House Approves Bill Ending Comptroller’s Endangered Species Duties

The blind salamander is one of Texas' endangered species. A new bill passing through the House could move Texas' endangered species monitoring duties from the Comptroller to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Update: HB 3509 passed out of the state House Thursday, the final day for bills to be voted out. Earlier: The Texas House could vote today on a bill that would strip the Texas Comptroller’s office of its endangered species monitoring duties and send the job over to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Advocates [...]

Comptroller’s Endangered Species Duties Could Go to Wildlife Department

The Lesser Prairie Chicken was proposed for listing as "threatened" recently by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Comptroller Susan Combs, Texas’ top accountant and tax official, doesn’t just deal with money: she’s also in charge of monitoring endangered species. It’s an odd coupling, money manager and critter caretaker, and a new piece of legislation could undo the two disparate duties. The Senate Natural Resources Committee discussed a bill, SB 468, at a meeting Tuesday [...]

Lesser Prairie Chicken Has Energy Industry Worried

The potential endangered species listing of the Lesser Prairie Chicken could impact two big Texas industries: oil and gas drilling, and wind.

From the Texas Tribune: In a few months, a grouse known as the lesser prairie chicken will emerge from its West Texas winter hideaway. Males will do a loud and elaborate mating dance, delighting females — and birdwatchers. But there is less dancing now because the chickens’ numbers have declined. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife [...]

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