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Energy & Environment

Evacaution for Endangered Species Not Yet Necessary

McKinney_Falls_State_Park_-_drought_-_By_Daniel_Reese_-_02.jpg
Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News
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Low water levels--like at McKinney Falls State Park earlier this summer--are causing problems for Central Texas endangered species. But any evacuation of the protected wildlife is still a ways off.

The ongoing drought has been hurting Central Texas endangered species. Threatened salamanders, beetles, fish and other animals may be evacuated from the San Marcos River and Comal Springs. But that wouldn't happen until at least next year, if it happens at all.

Bill Seawell is a biologist with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Austin. He says the evacuations have happened before, in 1989 and again in 1996, and they're hoping they don't have to do it again.

"At San Marcos National Fish Hatchery and Technology Center they are maintaining, continuously, smaller stocks of all the listed species. So this would be more of a last ditch salvage operation," Seawell told KUT News.

If the endangered species did need to be evacuated, it probably wouldn't happen till next year. And conditions would have to get much worse before the evacuations would begin. State and national fish and wildlife officials would join teams from Texas State, zoos and non-governmental organizations would help move the wildlife to the San Marcos National Fish Hatchery.

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