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Salt Creek Tiger Beetle

 

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  • Salt Creek Tiger Beetle / Copyright Bradley A. Miles.

    Salt Creek Tiger Beetle / Copyright Bradley A. Miles.

  • Salt Creek tiger beetle. Credit: USFWS.

    Salt Creek tiger beetle. Credit: USFWS.

Salt Creek tiger beetle (Cicindela nevadica lincolniana)

Species Description:  The Salt Creek tiger beetle (Cicindela nevadica lincolniana) is an active, ground-dwelling, predatory insect that captures smaller or similar sized arthropods in a ‘‘tiger-like’’ manner by grasping prey with its mandibles (mouthparts). The Salt Creek tiger beetle is metallic brown to dark olive green above with a metallic dark green underside. This insect measures about 0.5 inch in total length.  It is distinguished from other tiger beetles by its distinctive form and the color pattern on its dorsal and ventral surfaces. 

Salt Creek tiger beetle larvae live in permanent burrows in the ground and are voracious predators, fastening themselves by means of abdominal hooks near the tops of their burrows and rapidly extending from them to seize passing invertebrate prey. The adult Salt Creek tiger beetle has a two year life cycle and spends 11 months of the year underground, surfacing for only about six weeks, from around mid June through July. Adults are found in the moist, muddy areas within just a few yards of wetland and stream edges. They have adapted to brief periods of high water inundation and highly saline conditions.

Location:   The Salt Creek tiger beetle is confined to eastern Nebraska saline wetlands and associated streams and tributaries of Salt Creek in the northern third of Lancaster County.  The insect is believed to have disappeared from the southern margin of Saunders Counties.  It is found along mud banks of streams and seeps, and in association with saline wetlands and exposed mud flats of saline wetlands.


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On January 10, 2017, the Service announced the availability of the final recovery plan for the Salt Creek tiger beetle.

On July 15, 2015, the Service announced the availability of a draft revised recovery plan for the Salt Creek tiger beetle. The Service solicits review and comments from the public on the draft revised plan through September 14, 2015.

Actions: On May 5, 2014, the Service announced a final revision of critical habitat for the rare Salt Creek tiger beetle, which was listed as endangered in 2005 under the Endangered Species Act.  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, and includes critical habitat on 1,110 acres of saline wetlands.

On March 12, 2014, the Service announced the availability of a Draft Economic Analysis and Draft Environmental Assessment for the proposed redesignation of critical habitat for the endangered Salt Creek tiger beetle. The Service will open a 15-day public comment period until March 28, 2014, to allow the public to review these draft documents and the June 4, 2013 proposed critical habitat rule.

As of June 3, 2013, we are seeking public input on a proposed revision of critical habitat for the rare Salt Creek tiger beetle. 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. 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. The Service has opened a 60-day comment period to allow the public and stakeholders an opportunity to comment on this proposal through August 5, 2013.

On June 20, 2011, we initiated 5-year status reviews under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), of 2 animal and 10 plant species. We are requesting any information that has become available since our original listing of each of these species. Based on review results, we will determine whether we should change the listing status of any of these species.

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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.

 

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.
Last modified: January 10, 2017
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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