Searching for rare species in a forbidding environment

The Cascade Cavern salamander (Eurycea latitans) exists in subterranean waterways in Texas. Credit: National Museum of Natural History

New techniques are giving biologists better tools to detect wildlife in some of the world’s most isolated locations. That includes underground water systems that host species that are poorly understood and may be facing extinction. As demand for groundwater intensifies, these stygofauna—including rare salamanders in Texas—face greater and greater threats.

“They rely on the water that we rely on,” Ruben Tovar, a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin, told Undark.

Read more from Undark here.