For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Tierra Curry, (928) 522-3681

Rare Cave-dwelling Creatures in Texas Hill Country Gain Protected Habitat Under Endangered Species Act

SAN ANTONIO - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalized “critical habitat” protection today for three rare invertebrates in Comal and Hays counties, Texas. The designation protects 169 acres of habitat for the cave-dwelling animals, which include two beetles and a crustacean. The protected habitat includes subsurface areas that scientists have identified as critical to the animals’ survival.

“Protecting aquatic habitat for these tiny animals will help safeguard the special natural history of Texas for generations to come,” said Tierra Curry, a conservation biologist at the Center for Biological Diversity.

The animals — Comal Springs riffle beetles, Comal Springs dryopid beetles and Peck’s cave amphipods — were protected under the Endangered Species Act in 1997, after which the Center and allies filed a series of lawsuits to gain protected habitat for the animals, including subsurface areas.

The habitat areas set aside for the animals overlap, consisting of 39 acres of surface habitat and 139 acres of subsurface habitat for the Comal Springs dryopid beetle; 38 surface acres and 138 subsurface acres for the Peck’s cave amphipod; and 54 acres of protected surface habitat for the Comal Springs riffle beetle.

All three of the freshwater invertebrates are found nowhere in the world except four Texas springs, where they are threatened by groundwater pumping from the Edwards Aquifer.

Groups that filed suit to gain habitat protection for the species were the Center for Biological Diversity, Citizen’s Alliance for Smart Expansion and Aquifer Guardians in Urban Areas.

###

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature - to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law, and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters, and climate that species need to survive.

Share This Article

More in: