Austin (KXAN)—Texas is home to more than 50 threatened species, 11 of which are in central Texas.
KXAN has created a list of endangered species for Central Texas County that includes Travis, Bell, Williamson, Hayes, Coryell, Milam, Burnett, Bastrop, McLennan, Lampasas, Blanco and Llano.
In central Texas, the Austin blind salamander can only be found in Travis County, according to Texas Parks & Wildlife (TPWD).
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) said Austin’s blind salamanders are entirely dependent on the Barton Springs portion of the Edwards Aquifer.
“The main threat or reason for listing Austin’s blind salamanders was the deterioration in the quality and quantity of the waters that make up the aquatic habitat as a result of urban expansion across the basin,” FWS said.
The federal government declared this species of salamander endangered in August 2013, according to FWS.
The Barton Springs Salamander habitat is located in Travis, Williamson and Hayes counties and depends on the clear, pure water of the Barton Springs Aquifer for survival.
TPWD said the city of Austin conducts monthly surveys to assess salamander status at each of the four springs known to have salamanders.
“Austin residents and visitors will be pleased to know that swimming at Barton Springs Pools poses no threat to the salamanders or their habitat,” TPWD said. “With proper management, this pool will continue to provide people with refreshing fun and home to the Barton Springs Salamander.”
The Barton Springs salamander has been listed as an endangered species in the United States since 1997, according to TPWD.
The Comal Springs Dryoped Beetle is most commonly found in Hayes County.
According to the FWS, this species of beetle was declared endangered by the federal government in 1997 due to threats of over-consumption and pollution of groundwater.
“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with partners to ensure that springs continue to provide clean, healthy freshwater to microhabitats, enabling critical life history and biological studies to meet species needs,” said FWS.
Hayes County in central Texas is home to the Comal Springs Riffle Beetle.
The aquatic beetle is about the size of a strawberry seed and “lives in and out of the openings of bubbling springs at the headwaters of the San Marcos and Comal Springs complex fed by the groundwater of the Edwards-Balcone Fault Aquifer,” the FWS said.
The federal government declared the species endangered in 1997.
The Fountain Darter’s habitat is located in Hayes County in central Texas. According to TPWD, they live only in the headwaters of the San Marcos and Comal rivers.
TPWD said, “Fountain darters are endangered because less water is flowing from the springs now than they used to.” “Increased population growth and groundwater use in the region has reduced spring water flow, especially in years with low rainfall.”
Although the species is listed as endangered in Texas, it is not considered a federally endangered species in the United States.
The Golden Warbler’s habitat is central Texas, comprising Travis, Bell, Williamson, Hayes, Coryell, Barnett, McLennan, Lampasas, Blanco, and Llano counties.
According to TPWD, golden warblers nest only in the ash juniper and oak forests of central Texas canyons and canyons.
“Of the approximately 360 bird species that breed in Texas, the bark warbler is the only bird that nests exclusively in Texas,” TPWD said.
This bird is considered endangered in both Texas and the United States, and was declared endangered by the federal government in May 1990.
“The warblers are endangered because many tall juniper and oak forests have been cleared to build houses, roads and shops. Some habitats have been cleared to grow crops and grass for livestock.
The Houston toad has been endangered since 1970. Within Central Texas, its habitat is primarily in Milam, Barnett, and Bastrop counties.
TPWD attributes the decline of this species to habitat loss and change.
According to TPWD, census surveys will be conducted in areas where toads are found and potential habitat areas.
According to FWS, the sharpnose shiner’s central Texas habitat is in Milam and McLennan counties.
“Throughout much of its historic range, sharpnose shiner declines are likely primarily due to habitat loss and modification due to reduced streamflow and fragmentation from large reservoirs, droughts, and groundwater withdrawals,” said the FWS.
The sharpnose shiner has been of conservation concern since 1982, but was declared endangered in 2014, according to the FWS.
Small-eyed Shiners live in the dry prairie streams of the Brazos River system in Texas. Habitat is primarily in Bell, Milam, and McLennan counties.
Due to several threats, small eye shiners were listed as endangered in 2014, according to the FWS.
Texas Blind Salamanders live in water-filled caves in the Edwards Aquifer near San Marcos, according to TPWD. Its central Texas habitat is located in Hayes County.
“Texas’ blind salamanders depend on a constant supply of clean, cool water from the Edwards Aquifer. Pollution and overuse from urban growth threaten their survival. We can help by conserving water and preventing water pollution,” TPWD said.
According to TPWD, this species of salamander is considered endangered in both Texas and the United States, and was declared endangered by the federal government in March 1967.
Whooping cranes live in central Texas in Travis, Bell, Williamson, Hayes, Coryell, Milam, Barnett, Bastrop, McLennan, Lampasas, Blanco, and Llano counties.
“Sarus cranes are one of the rarest bird species in North America,” TPWD said.
According to TPWD, the biggest threats to Whooping Cranes are man-made, including power lines, illegal hunting and habitat loss.
This bird has been listed as endangered by the federal government since June 1970.
https://www.kxan.com/news/texas/list-endangered-species-that-can-be-found-in-central-texas/ What endangered species are in central Texas?