EuryceAlliance

advancing research and conservation of Texas Eurycea salamanders

EuryceAlliance 3 | Meeting Registration

The Call for Papers and Registration Form are now open for the 3rd meeting of the EuryceAlliance, to be held on Friday, June 6, 2014 at Art.Science.Gallery. in Austin, TX. We welcome abstract submissions from anyone interested in presenting scientific research and/or natural history observations of the Texas Eurycea salamanders. The meeting will be held concurrently with  Art.Science.Gallery.’s Year Of The Salamander exhibition, in collaboration between Partners In Amphibian & Reptile Conservation, the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, and Austin Watershed. Please contact the meeting organizers if you are interested in assisting with meeting preparations or have ideas for this summer’s meeting.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Date: Friday June 6, 2014 from 9 – 5pm with optional happy hour & dinner from 6 – 9pm

Location: Art.Science.Gallery., 916 Springdale Rd, Building 2, #102, Austin, TX 78702

Registration: $25 regular / $15 student / +$1 if paying by credit card

Optional Happy Hour Ticket: $8 for non-students

Early Registration Deadline: Sunday, May 18, 2014 (Add $15 to registration fee after this date)

Meeting Organizers:  Dr. Hayley Gillespie (eurycealliance@gmail.com) &  Dr. Caitlin Gabor (gabor@txstate.edu)

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE REGISTRATION PAGE.

3rd Meeting of the EuryceAlliance | June 6, 2014

Please save-the-date for the 3rd meeting of the EuryceAlliance on Friday June 6, 2014. The meeting will be held at Art.Science.Gallery.(916 Springdale Rd, Building 2, #102, Austin, TX 78702) and coincides with an art exhibition about salamanders for Partners In Amphibian + Reptile Conservation (PARC)’s 2014 Year of the Salamander.

Please stay tuned for registration details and call for papers. You may direct questions to Dr. Hayley Gillespie at eurycealliance [at ] gmail [dot] com.

NOTE: this post has been revised to reflect the rescheduled meeting date of June 6, 2014

Aquatic center to get new funding source

New article about Texas Eurycea in the San Antonio Express-News by Drew Joseph.

http://lubbockonline.com/texas/2013-12-09/aquatic-center-get-new-funding-source#.UqYrUmRDva0

Travis County commissioners asked to back staff recommendation to list salamanders as endangered

This article was published today in The Austin American-Statesman by staff reporter Farzad MashhoodTravis County commissioners asked to back staff recommendation to list salamanders as endangered

 

USFWS Proposed Rule for four central Texas Eurycea: endangered

The proposed rule by the US Fish & Wildlife Service to list four species of central Texas Eurycea salamanders as endangered was published today in the Federal Register (Vol 77, No. 163). This includes the Jollyville Plateau Salamander (Eurycea tonkawae), the Austin Blind Salamander (Eurycea waterlooensis), the Georgetown Salamander (Eurycea naufragia) and the Salado Salamander (Eurycea chisholmensis).

Two public informational meetings and public hearings are scheduled about the ruling:

September 5, 2012,  Wingate by Wyndham Round Rock, 1209 N. IH 35 North, Exit 253 at Hwy 79, Round Rock, Texas 78664.

September 6, 2012,  Thompson Conference Center, 2405 Robert Dedman Drive, Room 2.102, Austin, Texas 78705.

The 60-day public comment period is now open. You may submit written comments to the USFWS by one of the following methods:

(1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// http://www.regulations.gov. Search for Docket No. FWS–R2–ES–2012–0035. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!’’
(2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R2–ES–2012–
0035; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.

You may read the entire ruling, including a review of scientific information about these species in the Federal Register by clicking here.

Scientists from the EuryceAlliance are happy to serve as a resource for scientific information about the biology, evolution and ecology of any Texas Eurycea salamander species for the public, the media and policymakers. Please contact Dr. Hayley Gillespie at eurycealliance@gmail.com with your requests.

This week’s Austin Chronicle features history of Save Our Springs

Did you know that the specific name of the Barton Springs Salamander (Eurycea sosorum) is derived from the acronym SOS for Save Our Springs?

This week marks the 20th anniversary of the Save Our Springs ordinance, which was a “a voter-driven initiative to protect Barton Springs against unrestricted development in the Barton Creek watershed” (to quote Amy Smith’s Chronicle article today). The Austin Chronicle has produced a series of articles and timelines about the history of the SOS movement in Austin in this week’s issue. 

Cronkite documentary on non-point source pollution features Barton Springs

Pointless Pollution, a documentary hosted by [legendary journalist and UT Austin alumn] Walter Cronkite on the problems posed to the nation’s water supply by non-point source pollution, is being aired on local Travis County Cable Channel 17  as part of Travis County’s Texas Water Videos for August. One segment includes Lake Travis and Barton Springs.

These videos, presented by LCRA, will be broadcast together during the following time blocks on the Travis County Cable Channel 17:

Wednesday August 1, 2012- 10:00 p.m.
Thursday August 2, 2012- 12:30 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.
Friday August 3, 2012- 9:00 a.m. & 8:30 a.m.
Saturday August 4, 2012- 8:30 a.m.
Sunday August 5, 2012- 3:00 p.m.
Monday August 6, 2012- 12:30 p.m.

 

Other spring and salamander-related films in this series include:

Austin Underground: Four Part Series

This series is designed to provide viewers with a ‘virtual field trip’ into the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer. The video is broken up into the following four segments:

Geology- Explores the passage of water over land to the recharge zone into critical environmental features including fractures, sinkholes, and caves. It also examines the dissolution of karst limestone.
Hydrogeology- Explores the underground flow of water through the cave/ aquifer system by means of dye trace studies, and the re-emergence of groundwater at local springs, particularly Barton Springs.
Salamander- Studies the aquifer and the springs as a habitat for aquatic species, including the Austin Blind Salamander and the endangered Barton Springs Salamander.
Threats/ Solutions- Explores threats to the aquifer (non-point source pollution).

These videos, presented by City of Austin, will be broadcast together during the following time blocks:

Wednesday August 15, 2012- 10:00 p.m.
Thursday August 16, 2012-  12:30 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.
Friday August 17, 2012-  9:00 a.m. & 8:30 p.m.
Saturday August 18, 2012-  8:30 a.m.
Sunday August 19, 2012-  3:00 p.m.
Monday August 20, 2012-  12:30 p.m.

Texas, The State of Springs

This video, presented by TEXAS Parks & Wildlife, explores the decline of our natural springs, issues that effect spring flow, and what can be done to save these resources.

It will be broadcast on the following dates/ times:

Wednesday August 22, 2012- 10:00 p.m.
Thursday August 23, 2012-  12:30 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.
Friday August 24, 2012-  9:00 a.m. & 8:30 p.m.
Saturday August 25, 2012-  8:30 a.m.
Sunday August 26, 2012-  3:00 p.m.
Monday August 27, 2012-  12:30 p.m.

Amendments intended to block Eurycea listings

US Senator John Cornyn and US Representative John Carter are introducing potential amendments to the 1973 Endangered Species Act (which they are calling the “Salamander Community Conservation Act”). These bills propose to amend section 10 of the ESA to include the following 10 lines:

1 SEC. 2. CERTAIN SALAMANDERS.

2 Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973
3 (16 U.S.C. 1539) is amended by adding at the end the
4 following:
5 ‘‘(k) CERTAIN SALAMANDERS.—Section 4(a) shall
6 not apply to—
7 ‘‘(1) the Austin blind salamander;
8 ‘‘(2) the Georgetown salamander;
9 ‘‘(3) the Jollyville Plateau salamander; or
10 ‘‘(4) the Salado salamander.’’.

These bills are H.R. 6219, introduced on 7/26/2012 and referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources  and S.3446, introduced on 7/26/2012 and referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

New City of Austin Salamander Page

Check out the City of Austin’s new salamander page, with information about the city’s efforts to conserve the Barton Springs Salamander (Eurycea sosorum), Austin Blind Salamander (Eurycea waterlooensis), and Jollyville Plateau Salamander (Eurycea tonkawae)! http://austintexas.gov/department/salamanders

Texas representative announces an ammendment to an appropriations bill that would block federal funding for Texas salamanders if listed.

A suite of local news articles this week have covered press releases and a press conference by U.S. Representative John Carter (R-Round Rock, TX) about his plans to file a bill (an amendment to the FY 2013 Interior-Environment Appropriations Funding Bill) that would block federal funding for four Texas Eurycea species if they are listed as endangered. Congressman Carter currently serves on the house appropriations committee (along with fellow representatives from Texas Kay Granger R-Fort Worth and John Abney Culberson R-Houston) and plans to introduce this legislation to the committee this week. Note that no scientists who are familiar with the biology and research on these salamander species were interviewed in any of these news pieces, despite numerous claims about the state and quality of “the science” made by many of those interviewed.

Carter announces federal legislation against salamander listing | Austin American-Statesman by Benjamin Wermund | June 18, 2012

Lizard decision gives Williamson County officials hope on salamanders | Austin American-Statesman by Benjamin Wermund | June 17, 2012

Salamanders may be off endangered list: bill blocks listing it as endangered species | KXAN

Legislation proposed to keep salamanders off endangered list | KVUE

Rep Carter announces legislation to stall listing of salamanders as endangered | Impact News by Samantha Bryant

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