The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated approximately 1,933 acres of land in Lancaster and Saunders Counties, Nebraska, as critical habitat for the endangered Salt Creek tiger beetle.
The four areas designated as critical habitat are: (1) Upper Little Salt Creek North in Lancaster County, (2) Little Salt Creek – Arbor Lake in Lancaster County, (3) Little Salt Creek – Roper in Lancaster County, and (4) Rock Creek – Jack Sinn Wildlife Management Area in Lancaster and Saunders Counties. Saline wetland and stream complexes found along Little Salt Creek and Rock Creek comprise the critical habitat designation.
Critical habitat is a term defined in the Endangered Species Act. It identifies geographic areas containing features essential for the conservation of a threatened or endangered species and may require special management considerations or protection.
On February 20, 2009, we completed a recovery outline for the Salt Creek tiger beetle. This document provides a basic background about the Salt Creek tiger beetle and a preliminary course of actions to achieve recovery of the insect. It serves to guide recovery efforts, consultation, land use planning, and permitting activities until a comprehensive recovery plan for the Salt Creek tiger beetle is finalized and approved. We hope to complete a comprehensive recovery plan for the Salt Creek tiger beetle in 2010.
In December 2007, the Service proposed the following draft critical habitat designation.
Press Release: 12/13/2007 Public Comment Period Open on Proposed Critical Habitat for Salt Creek Tiger Beetle
In May 2007, the Service proposed the following draft critical habitat designation.
On October 6, 2005, the Service listed the Salt Creek tiger beetle as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. This species is endemic to the saline wetlands of eastern Nebraska and associated streams in the northern third of Lancaster County and southern margin of Saunders County. Only three small populations of this subspecies remain, and the known adult population size in 2005 was only 153 individuals. This final action extends Federal protection and recovery provisions of the Act to the Salt Creek tiger beetle.
The Service’s proposal states that surveys from 1991 to 2004 show declines in population size and distribution. The surveys indicate that the number of remaining Salt Creek tiger beetle populations has fallen by half – from six to three populations – since 1991. The 2004 surveys revealed that the Salt Creek tiger beetle numbers fewer than 600 individuals.