Salamanders are sensitive critters. With external gills and limited habitats, they are good indicators of groundwater health. They rely on clean, clear, flowing springs to maintain healthy populations. Low water levels in aquifers lead to less spring flow and less dissolved oxygen in the water. Pollution and contaminants from surface water runoff can drastically alter water quality. Hill Country residents rely heavily on groundwater, and the status of salamander populations can tell us how well we’re balancing resource protection and development.
The WVWA is helping scientists at the Guadalupe Blanco River Authority, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and Edwards Aquifer Authority survey salamanders and track spring flow and recharge to aquifers in northern Comal County. Rebecca Springs is a Middle Trinity spring that helps provide baseflow to the Guadalupe River and inflows for the Canyon Lake Reservoir.
Find out more about the stewardship efforts at the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association Rebecca Springs preserve.