Endangered Species

A Rio Grande cooter, type of turtle
National Park Service

An environmental advocacy group is launching a broad lawsuit in an effort to secure federal protections for 274 plants and animals under the Endangered Species Act.

The dunes sagebrush lizard
Center for Biological Diversity

Environmental groups are suing the Trump administration to secure federal protections for a reptile that makes its home among the shinnery oak sand dunes in West Texas and Southeast New Mexico.

A bird feeder and birdhouse on Hill Country property that the pipeline would go through.
Julia Reihs / KUT

A new front has opened in the legal battle against a 430-mile natural gas pipeline planned through the Texas Hill Country, this time focusing on how the project will impact the endangered golden-cheeked warbler.

Dominic Sherony/CC BY-SA 2.0

Three environmental groups are suing the Trump administration to secure federal protection for lesser prairie chickens.

Tom Devitt

A team of biologists announced this week they’d found three new species of rare salamanders in Central Texas. The discovery of any new species is big news for science, but in Texas – where the fate of salamanders and people are often linked – it could also set up a new fight over endangered species protections.  

Ana Ramirez/Victoria Advocate

From Texas Standard:

Texas oyster reefs have taken a beating over the past several years. It started with Hurricane Ike in 2008, followed by drought and then flooding. Now the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission is making some changes to how oysters are fished in Texas waters.

 

Steve Jurvetson via Texas Tribune

When Texas promised to protect a threatened lizard in the oil-rich Permian Basin, state officials entrusted the day-to-day oversight to a nonprofit that sounds like an environmental group: the Texas Habitat Conservation Foundation.

What’s not advertised is the occupation of the board members who created it.

City of Austin by Mark Sanders

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it would cost $29 million over the next 23 years to designate critical habitat land for four central Texas salamanders.

The service wants to list the Austin blind salamander and three other species as endangered. It also wants to designate more than 6,457 acres of land in Travis, Williamson and Bell counties to help protect them. That acreage is up from 5,983 acres in a previous proposal.

City of Austin by Mark Sanders

Four salamander species native to Central Texas have moved closer to being classified as "endangered" by the federal government.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service opened a 60-day public comment period today, asking for feedback on its proposal to protect four salamanders that live only in the waters of the Edwards Aquifer.

Photo courtesy flickr.com/welsnet

That's the question on the mind of the TV newsmagazine 60 Minutes.

When you think of Texas hunting, everything from wild hogs to fishing to even burros may come to mind. But what about gazelles, oryx, and zebras?

Those exotic species were the focus of a recent 60 Minutes report on big game hunting in the Lone Star State. Correspondent Lara Logan filed a report on the emergence of hunting these rare animals recently – conversely, as part of a program meant to increase their population.

Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News

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.