Feds grants protection for Central Texas species

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Associated Press

Posted on February 22, 2014 at 10:32 AM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Federal officials have granted "endangered species" status to two salamander species unique to Central Texas.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Friday the listing of the Georgetown salamander and the Salado (suh-LAY'-doh) salamander. It says the small amphibians are endangered by habitat degradation and changes in the flow and quality of water in the springs where they live.

The agency also proposes adopting a new Georgetown city ordinance aimed at reducing contamination from spills and creation of buffer zones around the salamanders' habitat.

The Georgetown salamander is found in 15 springs and two caves in Williamson County. The Salado salamander is found in seven springs along Salado Creek near Salado.

Two other Austin-area species, the Jollyville Plateau and Austin blind salamanders, were listed as "endangered" in August.

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