Maintaining Ecosystem Balance

Edwards Plateau, the contributing zone to the aquifer.

This is Passport to Texas

An ecosystem is a complex set of interrelationships among plants, animals, microorganisms, land, and water. And Texas Parks and Wildlife is a collaborator on a conservation plan to protect a special ecosystem: the Southern Edwards Aquifer.

The Edwards aquifer is home to many, many rare species, including eight federally listed threatened and endangered species.

Cindy Loeffler is water resources branch chief at Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Some of the most visible endangered species associated with the Edwards Aquifer are Texas Wild Rice – it’s only found in the upper two miles of the San Marcos River. Also, [of importance are] fountain darters, small fish that are found in the San Marcos River and the Comal River, and a number of cave-dwelling species you might not see just recreating in the rivers – but they’re there.

Loeffler worked on the Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Plan. Some of the species she mentioned are unique to the Edwards Aquifer Ecosystem.

It’s important to protect these species for that reason, but also, this is a major water supply for many of us here in Texas, so finding a way to share that resource –finding the proper balance – that’s what the Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program has been about.

What’s in the plan to help protect endangered species? We look at that tomorrow.

The Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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