U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Announces Availability of a Draft Recovery Plan for the endangered Salt Creek Tiger Beetle
For Immediate Release
July 15, 2015
DENVER-One of the world’s rarest insects is getting a boost to its recovery. In order to keep this unique insect from extinction a draft recovery plan has been developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) that may help keep it from disappearing from the Cornhusker State.
The endangered Salt Creek tiger beetle only occurs in saline wetland and stream habitats in eastern Nebraska. Habitat loss associated with urbanization, bank stabilization and agricultural development has reduced the population of the insect making it vulnerable to extinction.
As part of its effort to protect the insect, the Service is seeking public comment on the draft recovery plan which will guide the management of the species for the next decade. The recovery plan describes actions necessary for the beetle’s recovery, establishes criteria for down listing the species to threatened status and delisting it, and estimates the time and cost for implementing the needed recovery actions.
According to the draft recovery plan, the Salt Creek tiger beetle will be considered for down listing from endangered to threatened when-along with other criteria identified in the plan-three protected wild populations, numbering between 500-1,000 individuals each are established in three recovery areas and considered for delisting when three additional protected, wild populations are established in a minimum of four recovery areas and these populations remain stable over 10 consecutive years.
Six populations of Salt Creek tiger beetles were known to exist in the mid to late 1990s along three streams; however, two of these populations have been extirpated since that time. Four populations currently exist, all along a single stream-Little Salt Creek. These four populations contain several hundred adults.
Recovery of the Salt Creek tiger beetle is important not only for the long-term survival of the species itself but also to restore and protect its unique saline wetland habitat in eastern Nebraska. To advance this effort, the Service and numerous local organizations have dedicated tremendous effort toward, experimental rearing, reintroduction, population and habitat monitoring to help recover the Salt Creek tiger beetle and restore its habitat. Local partner organizations include the Saline Wetlands Conservation Partnership, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Lower Platte South Natural Resources District, City of Lincoln, Nebraska Environmental Trust, University of Nebraska, Lincoln Children’s Zoo, Henry Doorly Zoo, and the Master Naturalists.
The Service will open a 60-day public comment period until September 14, 2015, to allow the public to review the draft recovery plan. All relevant information received from the public, government agencies, the scientific community, industry, and other interested parties will be considered and addressed prior to approval of a final recovery plan.
Read the plan online at http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/invertebrates/saltcreektiger/index.htm
Comments and information may be submitted to:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nebraska Ecological Services Field Office, 9325 South Alda Road, Wood River, Nebraska 68883 .
Recovery of endangered or threatened species is the primary goal of the Service’s endangered species program. To help guide recovery efforts, the Service prepares recovery plans for federally-listed species that describe actions necessary for the conservation of the species and establish objective, measurable recovery criteria. When met, these criteria would result in a determination that the species no longer needs the protection of the ESA. Recovery plans must also provide estimates of the time and cost for implementing the needed recovery measures.
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