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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Update

This week was the deadline for USFWS to decide whether the Salado Salamander and three other Central Texas-area salamanders should be listed and whether critical habitat relied upon by these species should be designated under the Endangered Species Act. USFWS announced a six-month extension of its deadline for the Salado and Georgetown Salamanders, but declared that the other two species (the Austin Blind Salamander and Jollyville Plateau Salamander) should be listed and habitat designated. USFWS cited disagreement among scientists and the need for more time to evaluate data as the reasons for delaying its decision on the Salado and Georgetown Salamanders.

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DROUGHT: Study Finds Triple-digit Summers Will Become the Norm in Texas

Texas will be hotter and its summers will average triple-digit temperatures within a few decades, according to a study by the state climatologist.

John Nielsen-Gammon, who also is a professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University, said results of the study present a chilling outlook: Maximum temperatures could be up to five degrees higher by 2060.

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Williamson County Explores Impact of Salamanders’ Status

On Tuesday, August 20, 2013, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) listed the Jollyville Plateau salamander as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The Jollyville Plateau salamander lives in springs in southwestern Williamson County and in Travis County. The USFWS also granted a six month extension on any listing action for the Georgetown and Salado salamanders, also affecting Williamson County. A 30-day comment period has been opened (closing September 19, 2013) for submission of additional information on the Georgetown and Salado salamanders.

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