Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Draft 5-Year Status Review of Tooth Cave Ground Beetle Submitted
Southwest Region, August 15, 2008
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Austin Ecological Services Office submitted a draft Tooth Cave ground beetle 5-year review to the Regional Office in mid-August.  Tooth Cave ground beetle (TCGB) was listed as endangered on September 16, 1988 and a final recovery plan with downlisting criteria was published in 1994.  According to recovery downlisting criterion 1, three karst fauna areas (KFAs) within each karst fauna region (KFR) should be protected.  A KFA is an area known to support one or more locations of a listed species and is distinct in that it acts as a system that is separated from other karst fauna areas by geologic and hydrologic features and/or processes that create barriers to the movement of water, contaminants, and troglobitic fauna; and a KFR is a region delineated based on geologic continuity, hydrology, and the distribution of rare troglobites.  Recovery downlisting criterion 2 requires at least five consecutive years of a cave meeting protected KFA status and that perpetual protection of these areas be in place.  Since TCGB was listed in 1988, there have been significant steps towards protecting TCGB caves and meeting the downlisting criteria. 

TCGB occurs in two KFRs: Jollyville and Cedar Park.  Within the Jollyville KFR there are currently four caves or cave clusters that have a high potential for meeting the definition of a protected KFA.  Within the Cedar Park KFR there are currently three caves that have a high potential for meeting the definition of a protected KFA.  With some additional field data gathered, such as surface and subsurface drainage basins, and/or implementation/confirmation of certain management activities, such as fire ant control around the cave, we should be able to make this determination.  In total, there could be four protected KFAs within the Jollyville KFR and three within the Cedar Park KFR; enough to meet recovery downlisting criterion 1.  We will be sending letters to the owners of each of these potential KFAs regarding our 5-year review findings and requesting their assistance to gather any additional information on these or other TCGB caves.

If a cave is determined to be a protected KFA, then information relating to recovery criterion 2 should be gathered and/or implemented to meet downlisting status. 

The TCGB appears to be close to meeting the downlisting criteria and we have recommended a recovery priority number change from a 2C to an 8C.  With additional information we believe there is a high potential to achieve downlisting for this species.  Until such time, we recommend TCGB’s status remain the same.

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