Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper seeks, finds endangered species

Education, Environmental, Sound Rivers

Posted on March 10th, 2022

Picking up a Neuse River Waterdog is quite a slimy experience, according to Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper Jill Howell.

Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper Jill Howell recently went out in the field to seek out the elusive, and endangered, Neuse River Waterdog. She accompanied N.C. State University PhD candidate Eric Teitsworth and a field tech to track down this large salamander on a creek  in Pitt County.

The Neuse River Waterdog, an aquatic salamander found only in the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico river basins, has been eliminated from 35% of its range. An additional 25% of its historical streams are in such poor condition that the waterdog is unlikely to survive there. The salamander will be listed as threatened with a “4(d) rule” that allows ongoing logging in its habitat if certain management practices are followed to protect streams from sediment pollution.

“Protecting streams and rivers for small fish and salamanders also helps protect the healthy water quality that people need for drinking water and recreation,” according to said Tierra Curry, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity.

Both the Neuse River Waterdog and the Carolina madtom catfish were recently listed as protected under the Endangered Species Act, the result of a petition and lawsuits from the Center for Biological Diversity spanning a decade.

This creek in Pitt County is home to this particular Neuse River Waterdog.

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