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Hungerford's Crawling Water Beetle

Final Recovery Plan

Go here for the entire Hungerford's Crawling Water Beetle Recovery Plan (pdf; 91 pages)



Current Species Status: Brychius hungerfordi was listed as endangered on March 7, 1994, under the provisions of the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The species is found in five streams in the United States and one stream in Canada. Of these occupied streams, only the East Branch of the Maple River has consistently large numbers of beetles. At the other sites, only relatively small numbers of individuals have been found.


Habitat Requirements and Limiting Factors: Brychius hungerfordi is found in clear cool streams with well-aerated riffle segments, a cobble bottom, an underlying sand substrate, and alkaline water conditions. Specific habitat requirements are not known. The species is often found downstream from culverts, beaver and natural debris dams, and human-made impoundments. It remains unknown what factors may limit the species’ distribution. Potential threats to the species may include habitat modification, certain fish management activities, and human disturbance. The small size and limited distribution of B. hungerfordi make it vulnerable to chance demographic and environmental events.


Recovery Strategy: Threats to this species are not well understood. In general, it can be assumed that threats to the species include any activities that modify or disrupt the pool and riffle environments of streams in which this species lives. Very little is understood about the ecological requirements, life history, and population structure of B. hungerfordi. Additional information on these basic parameters will facilitate a better understanding of factors that may be impacting the species. Therefore, recovery efforts would benefit from a research program that targets B. hungerfordi and its habitat. Based on the results of necessary research, we will seek to maintain multiple populations of B. hungerfordi and increase their size to a level at which genetic, demographic, and environmental uncertainty are less threatening. Known sites will continue to be conserved and monitored. Our efforts will include reducing, to the extent possible, threats that result in physical habitat destruction and degradation (e.g., stream-side logging, stream pollution) and threats relating to certain fish management activities and human recreation. If research indicates that additional factors are threatening the species, we will revise the plan to include additional Recovery Criteria.


Recovery Goal: The ultimate goal of the Recovery Plan is to remove the species from the Federal list of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (50 CFR 17.11). The intermediate goal of the Plan is reclassification of B. hungerfordi to threatened status.


Recovery Objective: The objectives of this Recovery Plan are as follows:


1) determine and ensure adequate population size, numbers, and distribution for achievement and persistence of viable populations and long-term survival;

2) identify habitat essential for all life stages and ensure adequate habitat conservation; and

3) identify whether additional threats exist. Initially, the objective of the recovery program is to gather sufficient information to revise and refine the interim Recovery Criteria.


Interim Recovery Criteria:
Reclassification from endangered to threatened when:

1. Life history, ecology, population biology, and habitat requirements are understood well enough to fully evaluate threats, and

2. A minimum of five U.S. populations, in at least three different watersheds, have had stable or increasing populations for at least 10 years, and at least one population is considered viable.


Delisting when the above criteria are met, plus:

3. Habitat necessary for long-term survival and recovery has been identified and conserved, and

4. A minimum of five U.S. populations, in at least three different watersheds, are sufficiently secure and adequately managed to assure long-term viability.


Actions Needed:
1. Conserve known sites

2. Conduct scientific research to facilitate recovery efforts

3. Conduct additional surveys and monitor existing sites

4. Develop and implement public education and outreach

5. Revise Recovery Criteria and recovery actions, as

appropriate, based on research and new information

6. Develop a plan to monitor B. hungerfordi after it is delisted

Estimated Cost of Recovery for Years 1, 2, and 3 and 4-20 (in $1000): Details are found in the Implementation Schedule (page 52).


Date of Recovery: Contingent on funding and implementation of recovery actions, full recovery of this species may occur by 2030.


Go here for entire Hungerford's Crawling Water Beetle Recovery Plan


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Last updated: January 3, 2013