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Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for the Balcones Spike and Texas Fawnsfoot in the Brazos River Basin
The Brazos River Authority has negotiated a Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) with the US Fish and Wildlife
Service to begin implementation as of October 2021. The CCAA solidifies a voluntary partnership between the BRA and the USFWS to
address the conservation needs of the two Brazos basin species of freshwater mussels listed for Endangered Species Act protection.
The Texas fawnsfoot, Truncilla macrodon,
and the Balcones Spike, Fusconaia inheringi,
are currently listed with
critical habitat established in the Brazos River basin.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to publish its final decision on the species status in 2022. Federal law created three main categories where a species in danger may be placed:
- endangered, and
A candidate species is a plant or animal that has the potential for being listed as either threatened or endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, but it is a species that the agency does not have the resources to move forward in listing at that time.
The CCAA includes activities related to research and monitoring to further knowledge of the two species, avoidance to protect existing populations, education and outreach from engaging the public and employing both collaborative conservation and adaptive management principles. It also includes the development of conservation zones and future hydrology modeling to prioritize areas for implementation of specific conservation measures designed to reduce current and future threats to the species.