Trip to San Marcos Aquatic Resources Center

Last week, Dr. Zhu, Mary Yu, and Rachel Hoyle visited the San Marcos Aquatic Resources Center (SMARC) where they toured the facility and collected more samples for a small project concerning the detection and identification of an undocumented microsporidia affecting federally listed Eurycea salamanders: Eurycea sosurm, Eurycea nana, Eurycea rathbuni. The Center manages captive breeding programs for these salamanders among other listed aquatic species endemic to the Edwards Aquifer and other Texas spring systems with an emphasis on threated, endangered, or interjurisdictional animals. The Edwards Aquifer is a natural Texas landscape of underground caves and porous limestone where rainwater collects and flows through, opening into some of the most prolific springs and unique ecosystems in the world. The Edwards Aquifer discharges about 900,000 acre-feet of water, directly serving about two million Texans from Brackettville to Austin.

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Healthy Eurycea sosrum at the SMARC

Eurcea rathbuni at the SMARC

Healthy Eurcea rathbuni at the SMARC