Joe Rosato jr.
A salamander is collected by a researcher on the island. The salamanders are threatened by the island's massive non-native mouse population.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates the economic impact of protecting Central Texas habitats of four salamander species will be about $29 million over 23 years.
The federal agency that oversees care of endangered species says in a report released Thursday the costs associated with protecting about 6,000 acres in three counties are largely administrative. The service says it does not foresee impacts to water management activities, utility projects, mining or livestock grazing.
When the agency recommends listing species as endangered, it also limits activity in areas considered to be critical habitat. In this case, the service wants to protect habitat for the Austin blind salamander, the Jollyville Plateau salamander, the Georgetown salamander and the Salado salamander.
The public can comment on the report during the next 45 days.