Tag Archives: Texas endangered species

Around Campus: Nature Activities and Conservation Efforts in San Marcos

Many local groups focus on enjoying, protecting the Jewel of Central Texas

By Andrew Osegi 

The natural beauty of San Marcos, Texas is one of the most compelling reasons why so many people love to visit and live here. Located on the Balcones Fault, where the Texas hill country meets the coastal plains, San Marcos is geographically primed for its natural springs and abundance of wildlife.

The San Marcos Salamander's only habitat is the San Marcos River. They are considered a threatened species.

The San Marcos salamander’s only habitat is the San Marcos River. It is considered a threatened species.

The San Marcos River, what many residents consider to be the life source of the city, starts its journey at Spring Lake, bubbling up from the underground Edwards Aquifer. The aquifer is home to many endangered and threatened species; those found in the San Marcos area include the Texas blind salamander, Texas wild rice, the fountain darter, the San Marcos gambusia, the Comal Springs riffle beetle, the Comal Springs dryopid beetle, the Peck’s cave amphipod and the San Marcos salamander. Continue reading

Faculty: Mike Forstner

Texas State herpetologist works to help
Houston toads hop off endangered list

Bufo houstonensis, the Houston toad.

By Billi London-Gray

Blind salamanders. Fountain darters. Texas wild rice grass. The home of the Bobcats is also home to endangered species and environmental advocates. But looking beyond the San Marcos River, a Texas State University biology professor has been working persistently to help restore populations of endangered Houston toads.

Texas State professor Michael Forstner, who holds the Alexander/Stone Chair of Genetics in the Department of Biology and has taught at the university since 1999, is one of the foremost experts on the Houston toad. He has been studying and raising awareness about the species since 1995.

“Effectively all field research on the taxon during the past decade has been completed by Texas State faculty and students in biology,” Forstner says. “My group represents the current lead for science-based recovery efforts, provides data useful to applied and theoretical aspects of small population biology, amphibian recovery, and amphibian population declines.” Continue reading