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News & Releases
Mountain-Prairie Region

News Release

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes to Revise Critical Habitat for the Salt Creek Tiger Beetle

For Immediate Release

June 4, 2013


Salt Creek Tiger Beetle, Photo: Copyright Bradley A. Mills, All Rights Reserved

DENVER - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is seeking public input on a proposed revision of critical habitat for the rare Salt Creek tiger beetle (Cicindela nevadica lincolniana), listed as endangered in 2005 under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  While only a few hundred beetles remain in three small populations in Nebraska on less than 35 acres, this revision will guide conservation efforts for the species, which includes proposed critical habitat for 1,110 acres of saline wetlands. 

The beetle is unique to Nebraska’s eastern saline wetlands, the most limited and endangered wetland type in the State.  Habitat loss associated with urbanization, road construction, stream channelization, and agricultural development has greatly reduced species’ numbers and distribution, making it vulnerable to extinction.

In 2010, the Service designated 1,933 acres of critical habitat for the beetle along Little Salt Creek and Rock Creek in Lancaster County.  As a result of a 2011 settlement agreement, we propose to revise critical habitat to include saline wetlands along Little Salt Creek, Rock Creek, Oak Creek, and Haines Branch Creek that are functioning saline wetlands or have the potential to be restored to that capacity.

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This designation of 1,110 acres is smaller than the previous designation, but contains sufficient suitable habitat to support recovery of the species, and includes two additional stream corridors that were not previously included which could support Salt Creek tiger beetle populations in the future. The goal of this designation is to support at least 6 populations of Salt Creek tiger in the future.  This designation will accommodate growth of existing populations and reintroduction of additional tiger beetle populations, as well as protect dispersal corridors and support sufficient prey insects to ensure adequate food for the species.

The Service has opened a 60-day comment period to allow the public and stakeholders an opportunity to comment on this proposal until August 5, 2013.  During that time, the Service will also seek peer review from qualified members of the scientific community to ensure that our final decision is based on solid science.  A copy of the proposed rule and more information on how to submit comments can be found at http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/invertebrates/saltcreektiger/index.htm or by contacting the Nebraska Ecological Services Field Office 203 West 2nd Street, Grand Island, Nebraska 68801 (telephone 308–382–6468).

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/.

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Mountain-Prairie Region

Office of External Affairs

134 Union Blvd

Lakewood, CO 80228

303-236-7905

303-236-3815 FAX


Contacts

Leith Edgar
303.236.4588
Leith_Edgar@fws.gov



The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with
Others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and
their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American People.
May 24, 2013
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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