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Assessment Results




© 2008 Sara Weinstein (1 of 1 )

AmphibiaWeb species account




IUCN Red List assessment


Conservation Needs Assessment

Eurycea nana ,   San Marcos Salamander
Assessed for:  United States   on: 02 Oct 2018   by: Vincent Farallo  
Assessment Status: Completed  
Order:   Caudata     Family:   Plethodontidae

IUCN Global Red List:   Vulnerable (VU)   
IUCN National Red List:   (not assessed)   
Distribution:     United States  
Evolutionary Distinctiveness score:   9.349645983 
Recommended Conservation Actions:   Ex Situ Research   
Additional Comments:   Initial assessment data compiled by Paul T. Chippindale and Joe N. Fries from “Amphibian Declines: The Conservation Status of United States Species”, edited by Michael Lannoo (©2005 by the Regents of the University of California), used with permission of the editor. The book is available from UC Press, http://www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/9484.html, and species accounts can be found on AmphibiaWeb, www.amphibiaweb.org. Original species account transcribed by Kevin Johnson. The account was updated by Vincent Farallo in October 2018. 

Question #Short NameQuestion TextResponseComments
1 Extinction risk Current IUCN Red List category. [Data obtained from the IUCN Red List.] Vulnerable (VU) This species is only known from Spring Lake (and slightly down-steam the San Marcos River) in Hays County, Texas. It is considered threatened by both the state of Texas and the Federal government.
2 Possibly extinct Is there a strong possibility that this species might be extinct in the wild? No / unlikely
3 Phylogenetic significance The taxon’s Evolutionary Distinctiveness (ED) score, as generated by the ZSL EDGE program. (These data are not editable by Assessors). ED value < 20
4 Protected habitat Is a population of at least 50% of the individuals of the taxon included within a reliably protected area or areas? Yes / probably The range of Eurycea nana is protected at both the state and federal level and is listed as Threatened by both the state of Texas and the Federal government (Hammerson and Chippindale, 2004). However, some of their habitats are still used for recreation (swimming, floating, etc) and the location of their range is also within the city of San Marcos (not isolated from human activity).
5 Habitat for reintroduction Does enough suitable habitat exist, either within or outside of currently protected areas that is suitable for potential reintroduction or translocation? No / unlikely This species only exists from one location. Other nearby springs might be able to sustain this species, but it is difficult to say if that would be feasible. Additionally potential sites for translocation would likely also have endemic salamanders present.
6 Previous reintroductions Have reintroduction or translocation attempts been made in the past for this species? No
7 Threat mitigation Are the threats facing the taxon, including any new and emerging threats not considered in the IUCN Red List, potentially reversible? Species is effectively protected The main threat to this species is changes to the water level and water quality. The habitat itself is protected, but residential or agricultural runoff could have a severe impact on the species (Hammerson and Chippindale 2004). Given the small range of the species an acute event could have severe consequences. Continued monitoring of the population and surrounding habitat will be critical for preventing future threats to the species.
8 Over-collection from the wild Is the taxon suffering from unsustainable collection within its natural range, either for food, for the pet trade or for any other reason, which threatens the species’ continued persistence in the wild? No / unlikely
9 Population recovery Is the known population of this species in the wild large enough to recover naturally, without ex situ intervention if threats are mitigated? Yes / probably Within the species restricted range they are locally abundant (116-129 individuals per m²) (Tupa and Davis 1976; Nelson 1993).
10 Biological distinctiveness Does the taxon exhibit, for example, a distinctive reproductive mode, behaviour, aspect of morphology or physiology, within its Class (e.g. Amphibia, Reptilia etc.)? No aspect of biology known to be exceptional
11 Cultural/socio-economic importance Does the taxon have a special human cultural value (e.g. as a national or regional symbol, in a historic context, featuring in traditional stories) or economic value (e.g. food, traditional medicine, tourism) within its natural range or in a wider global context? No As there are numerous species of endemic salamanders found in Texas springs they do have some local importance.
12 Scientific importance Is the species vital to current or planned research other than species-specific ecology/biology/conservation? (e.g. human medicine, climate change, environmental pollutants and conservation science), within its Class (e.g. Amphibia, Reptilia etc.)? No research dependent on this species
13 Ex situ research Does conserving this species (or closely related species) in situ depend upon research that can be most easily carried out ex situ? No
14 Husbandry analog Do the biological and ecological attributes of this species make it suitable for developing husbandry regimes for more threatened related species? i.e. could this species be used in captivity to help to develop husbandry and breeding protocols which could be used for a similar, but more endangered species at a later stage? Yes (Tim Herman, pers. comm.).
15 Captive breeding Has this species been successfully maintained and bred in captivity? Yes, bred to F2 Have been maintained at Dallas Aquarium (ZIMS) and have been bred by the City of Austin and the San Marcos Aquatic Resources Center.
16 Educational potential Is the species especially diurnal/active/colourful and therefore suited to be an educational ambassador for conservation of this group of species? No
17 Mandate Is there an existing conservation mandate recommending the ex situ conservation of this taxon? No
18 Range State approval Would a proposed ex situ initiative for this species be supported (and approved) by the range State (either within the range State or out-of-country ex situ)? Yes / probably
19 Founder specimens Are sufficient animals of the taxon available or potentially available (from wild or captive sources) to initiate the specified ex situ program? Yes / probably
20 Taxonomic status Has a complete taxonomic analysis of the species in the wild been carried out, to fully understand the functional unit you wish to conserve (i.e. have species limits been determined)? Yes Several phylogenetic and systematic studies including Eurycea nana (e.g., Bendik et al. 2013, Chippindale et al. 2000, Lucas et al. 2009) have been completed.

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