Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Status Review of Tooth Cave Ground Beetle Announced
Southwest Region, August 17, 2005
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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced the initiation of its status review of the endangered Tooth Cave ground beetle, Rhadine persephone, under the Endangered Species Act (Act)on August 17, 2005?

Periodic status reviews of all listed species are required by the Act to determine if the species classification as threatened or endangered is still appropriate. The Service is seeking any new information, since the time of listing of the Tooth Cave ground beetle, from the scientific community and the public in order to conduct this review. If the best scientific and commercial data are not consistent with the current classification of any species, the Service will recommend a change in its Federal classification. A species could be recommended for reclassification from endangered to threatened (downlisting), or from threatened to endangered (uplisting), or for removal from the Federal list of endangered species (delisting). Any such changes would require a separate rule-making process and provide an opportunity for further public input.

The Tooth Cave ground beetle was listed as endangered in 1988. It is a very small invertebrate found only underground in caves and karst features in Williamson and Travis counties, Texas, in and near the Austin metropolitan area. The primary threat to the Tooth Cave ground beetle is habitat alterations due to encroaching urban development. Human-induced changes to the otherwise stable cave environment include decreasing humidity, variable temperatures, sedimentation, pollution, and changes in storm water runoff patterns, threaten this species. The invasion of red imported fire ants is also an important threat to the species.

Since listing, considerable progress has been made in the conservation of the species through the efforts of several partnering agencies. Land preserves have been established through private and local cooperation that include occupied habitat for this species in Travis and Williamson County, Texas.

The Service is asking the public to provide any new information concerning the status of this species including biology, habitat, conservation measures, threats, and any other new data or information. We are especially interested in: (1) the results of survey and monitoring efforts that provide a better understanding of current population numbers and the status, security, and location of karst features that provide habitat for this species; (2) recent information regarding the impacts of urban development on the karst environment within the range of the Tooth Cave ground beetle; (3) the impacts of red imported fire ants on the species; and (4) additional site-specific information on protective measures currently in place for this species and its habitat and the expected longevity of those measures.

In order for new information to be considered, it should be supported by documentation such as maps, bibliographic references, methods to gather and analyze data, and copies of pertinent publications, reports, or letters by knowledgeable sources. The public will have 90 days, until November 14, 2005 to provide information considered in this review. However, the Service welcomes new information regarding any endangered species at any time.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov
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