Research Proposal

More and more species are under extinction nowadays. The state of ecology desires to be better. The technologies are supposed to help to preserve the nature resources and wildlife. However, the situation is out of the control. For the society, the understanding of the wildlife need stays out of the scope. People continue the devastation process, water is a contaminant and it is hard to find the fresh air in the cities, apart from the remote areas of the land. The aim of the research paper is to drag attention of the society to the questions of the preservation species that are in danger or almost extinct.

After the analysis of the possible topics, the choice fell on the endangered specimen of Taxes Blind Salamander. This rare animal lives in specific natural conditions, which are changing now and bring the survival of the Taxes Blind Salamander under the question. Within this paper, the main stress will be done on the understanding how the change of the Texas Blind Salamander habitat influences the population and behavior of the specimens. In order to complete the project, in the paper will be provided the needed funds, materials, methods and specified the data analysis that will present the ideal habitat environment for the Texas Blind Salamander. As for the methods, the main will be observation. The measurements are approximate and based on analysis of the previous works dedicated to the problem of the Texas Blind Salamander preservation. 


Study Area

Texas Blind Salamanders existence is under question. For the first time Texas Blind Salamanders were discovered in 1895 by Federal Fish Hatchery in San Marcos. In the source of water, near Edwards Limestone, under the 196 feet water were discovered the Texas Blind Salamanders. The description of the species appeared a year later and was performed by Leonhard Stejneger in 1896. In the middle of the twenties century, scientists managed to gather some salamanders before the netting of the well, which started in 1970. Despite this, later, in 1990th the vast majority of the specimens were drowning out from the well due to artesian flow. Texas Blind Salamanders eat macroinvertebrates that live in the same natural conditions.

For the first time, Texas Blind Salamander appeared in the list of the endangered species in 1967. Almost 25 years later the specimens were included in the list of both governments: federal and state. For the scientists, this is the most interesting specimen among other because of the troglobitic nature. Often Texas Blind Salamanders are confused with Blanco blind salamander.  Blanco blind salamander lives in the Blanco River and was discovered upstream, near the Interstate 35 Bridge in the middle of 1950th. The location chosen for the research is the lake and conjunction of the San Marco River. The observation will be done downstream of the upper part of the Marcos River. This is the location where Texas Blind Salamanders are found more often. The most common area of habitat for the Texas Blind Salamanders is a substrate of sand and gravel. In addition, often there are large rocks. The shallow water has enough resources to encourage the growth of aquatic moss. Usually, the bottom of the river, where Texas Blind Salamanders grow is covered by blue-green algae. The cover of the Texas Blind Salamander is important for survival as plays the first role in the protection of life and supports the habitat level of the organism and specimens Small organisms that are living among the algae Texas Blind Salamander uses as food. The last but not least factor for a vivid living is that Texas Blind Salamander does not inhabit areas with a sandy bottom.

Materials used

The study was planned as the two-year observation, with the schedule that is divided into two focuses. The first focus aims to receive results from the observation of the specimens during three seasons: spring, summer, and fall. The second focus will be made on spring, summer, and fall of the second year. During winter period will last preparation stage and time for the analysis of the received results of during the first and second focus accordingly. The money received for the study will be expanded over this 2-year period. The total expenses under approximate calculation should not overcome 800 dollars. The majority of the expenses, around 60%, will be made to pay the driving to the area and rent of the small room, where it will be possible to locate tanks. Ideally, this room will be located not far from the main area of the observation. Another point of the budget is devoted to the recreation of the similar like life conditions in a replicated living environment where it would be possible to study their interactions of possible breeding and habitat influences the population and behavior of the specimens. As it was mentioned above, also there will the need to observe species under the change of the light and water quality. The main points of the budget will be natural light lamp portray light, water pressure valves, sediment, realistic size tanks, food resources. The research will be divided into few study cases, determinate by the recreation of the real-life conditions, which will help to understand the limiting factors for Texas Blind Salamanders to the population. Afterward, the limiting factors will be applied with changes in the three different tanks, where Taxes Blind Salamanders will be located. 


Texas Blind Salamander, also known as Eurycea rathbuni has no eyes and there are black dots under the skin, small little pigments. This specimen is completely white. However, there are red external gills. These gills help Texas Blind Salamander receive oxygen from the water. By nature, Texas Blind Salamander is a predator. The food is torn into small pieces, while turn head into different sides. The most important factor that is needed for the Texas Blind Salamanders Survival is the cool clean water, that s supplied in the area of habitat.  

Despite the number of efforts that are put into the preservation of the Texas Blind Salamander, these species are surrounded with the vast limiting and co-limiting factors that are causing these animals to go extinct in terms of food resources or environmental conditions, and population abundance. The overuse and pollution of water cause the extension of the specimens. Additionally, the intraspecific competition is growing, as well as the number of factors. However, despite the isolation salamanders are living in, scientists claim that they reproduce round the year. The most vivid location for Texas Blind Salamanders is the San Marcos River.

Data collected 

The methods used for the research proposal are based on the clear background or context for the research problem. During the research will be distinguished limiting factors such as density of living, water pressure, adaptation toward seasonal changes in terms of food resources. Additionally, the research will be performed to understand the specimen’s behavior under the limitation of the light and water quality. In order to receive data on the density of living and the growth, after the first focus, when taxes Blind Salamanders will be located in the tanks, each of the specimen will be measured. Measurements will be done biweekly. Water pressure will be changed in few ways, so it will recreate the natural condition of the habitat region. With the help of these measurements, it will be also possible to observe changes in the behavior base on the seasonal change. As for the food change, the idea is to exclude from the chain one of the specimens that Taxes Blind Salamanders eat for a living. The exclusion will be done up to five specimens. 

Statistical design 

In order to receive the statistic data for the analysis of the influence on the Taxes Blind Salamander habitat conditions, previously there will be the need to receive the data from the natural living conditions. The specimen in the hierarchy is positioned on the top of the food chain. The organization of the community is unique and each specimen has own place. The system of aquifer places the major role. While Taxes Blind Salamander is on the top of the food chain below are located around forty specimens living in the same conditions, which Taxes Blind Salamander uses as food. Interesting is the fact that these species are endangered too. As a result, in case one of the species fall falls out of the chain, this change supposes to have an effect on Taxes Blind Salamander too. The second important limitation factor in natural habitat is the fact that due to the aquifer system salty water might cover areas, where Taxes Blind Salamanders live at the current moment. The statistical analysis will be performed because of these two factors. In each tank at the begin of the research will be located ten Taxes Blind Salamander. The measurement of the population will be taken every three weeks. 

Planned statistical analysis

The results of the research predictably will be divided into several cases. The first experiment is named “spring”. The idea is viewing them in their natural habitat. Then placing other Texas blind salamanders in the replicated living conditions and alter the limiting factors . The first limiting factor will be water pressures to find food. The second limiting factor is the change in the depth of living. The third and the final is the limitation of food resources during that time of seasonal change and see how if populations go up or down due to these altercations. Moreover, these limitations might be applied during the summer and the fall, and the experiments are named accordingly. The Texas Blind Salamanders during this period will be kept in three different tanks with water that is needed for the experiment. 

For example, during the season one, “spring”, in the first Tank will be higher water pressure and lower density, high food resources. The second tank will be built with less living depth, low water pressure, and high food resources, while the third tank will have high density, low water pressure, regular food resources. During the “summer” phase in tank one will be reproduced conditions of the tank two, and the Taxes Blind Salamanders from tank two will have conditions that were performed in tank three during the phase “spring”. The phase “fall” will be me mixed in the same way. 


The significance of the research is that it helps to understand exactly which of the limitation factors has the most significant influence on the population and habitat of the Taxes Blind Salamanders. Moreover, the research will help to prove or not the idea that specimens are bred the whole year around or not. After the analysis of the received data, it will be possible to tell, which conditions the best to preserve the endangered spacemen from the complete extinction. Additionally, the research based on the research results will help to whether it is possible to breed the Taxes Blind Salamander in the lab conditions and predict how this step might influence the behavior of the species. 

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