Nongame and Rare Species Program:
Federal Candidate and Petitioned Species Resources
Austin Blind Salamander
The Austin blind salamander (Eurycea waterlooensis) is a federal candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act. This species is known only from the Barton Springs complex in Austin, Travis County, Texas. No population estimates are available. Although it is only known from specimens collected or observed in surface spring pools), the morphology and phylogenetic placement of this species strongly suggest that it is an aquifer species rather than a surface; it may occur in subterranean habitat elsewhere in the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. This species, like other spring-dependent salamanders, faces threats from groundwater overuse, increased urbanization (i.e. impervious cover, wastewater, polluting untreated non-point source runoff) in recharge and contributing zones, site contamination, and poor watershed management practices (i.e. disturbance of riparian zones, livestock impacts, gravel and limestone mining, and ongoing disturbance of surface habitat).
January 25, 2013: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reopened the public comment period on the August 22, 2012, proposed listing and proposed designation of critical habitat for the Austin blind salamander, Georgetown salamander, Jollyville Plateau salamander, and Salado salamander. That agency has also completed a draft economic analysis of the proposed designation of critical habitat for the four salamander species. Deadline for comments is March 11, 2013. Details can be found at Regulations.gov.
Conservation and Management
- Austin Blind Salamander Species Account | PDF Salamander Proposed Listing FAQ and Information Document | PDF
- Known Locations for Four Eurycea Species in Central Texas | PDF
- Eurycea References | PDF
- TPWD Response to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | PDF