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Endangered Species

The upper San Marcos River is one of the most biologically diverse aquatic ecosystems known in the southwestern United States and has a number of endemic species that are isolated to the upper 4.5 miles of the river. Consequently, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Department and Texas Parks and Wildlife have designated the San Marcos Springs and Spring Lake critical habitat. Critical habitat refers to a particular geographical area that contains all of the physical, chemical and biological attributes needed for the continued success of an endangered plant or animal and that may require special efforts for their management and protection.

Species are listed threatened or endangered based on declining numbers or loss of habitat. There are 8 known species listed as endangered or threatened by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Texas Parks & Wildlife Department that live in the San Marcos region of the Edwards Aquifer, Spring Lake and the upper 4 miles of the San Marcos River. They include:


Comal Springs drypoid beetle
Comal Springs Dryopid Beetle
fountain darter
Fountain Darter
Peck's cave amphipod
Peck's Cave Amphipod
San Marcos salamander
San Marcos Salamander
San Marcos gambusia
San Marcos Gambusia
Texas blind salamander
Texas Blind Salamander
Comal Springs riffle beetle
Comal Springs Riffle Beetle
Texas wild-rice
Texas wild-rice