advancing research and conservation of Texas Eurycea salamanders

Monthly Archives: August 2012

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:// 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 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.