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Key Land for Endangered Karst Invertebrates Bought for Balcones Canyonlands Preserve
Southwest Region, January 7, 2009
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A key piece of property for endangered karst invertebrates has been acquired with the help of section 6 HCP land acquisition funds.  The Balcones Canyonlands Preserve partner, Travis County, submitted a non-traditional section 6 proposal that was funded in fiscal year 2007 and 2008 to purchase up to 22.7 acres of habitat that is vital for conservation of five endangered karst species and three karst species of concern.  The tract surrounds entrances to Tooth Cave and Root Cave which contain endangered karst species, including the Bone Cave harvestman, Tooth Cave ground beetle, Tooth Cave spider, Tooth Cave pseudoscorpion, and Kretschmarr Cave mold beetle.   Tooth Cave is one of the most biologically significant caves west of the Mississippi River.  Several other caves with listed species occur within the area adjacent to the property.  Tooth Cave spider, Tooth Cave pseudoscorpion, and Kretschmarr Cave mold beetle are only known to occur within a few caves, many of which are either on or adjacent to this property.  This acquisition will also benefit the endangered golden-cheeked warbler. 

The preserve system contains the known underground extent of each cave, the surface and subsurface drainage basins, and the majority of the remaining cave cricket foraging area. Cave crickets are an important source of nutrient input for karst ecosystems.  Establishing this preserve constitutes a major recovery action for the five endangered karst invertebrates that occur on this property.

Contact Info: Bill Seawell, 512 490-0057, bill_seawell@fws.gov



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