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Conservation status of United States tiger beetles

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This study evaluates the conservation status of all of the United States species and subspecies of tiger beetles on the basis of the published literature, unpublished reports, museum and private collections, our personal field work and contact with collectors. We provide a brief summary of the status of the four species already listed and the two candidates for listing by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We indicate three taxa believed to be extinct and evaluate 62 others that we deem sufficiently rare to be considered for listing as endangered or threatened. We used a 1, 2, 3 grading system that is generally comparable to the terminology of critically imperiled, imperiled, and vulnerable designations, respectively, used in NatureServe Explorer. Fifty-two of these taxa are from the western states and Texas and most of them are named subspecies with extremely limited distributions and habitats. We assigned seven taxa a 1+ grade, our highest level of rarity and/or threats; of these there is presently sufficient information available to consider two of them-- Cicindelidia floridana Cartwright and Cicindela tranquebarica joaquinensis Knisley and Haines-- as the U. S. forms most in danger of extinction. Future prospects for conservation and listing of tiger beetles seem bleak because of the limited budget and personnel available for Endangered Species in the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the current economic and political climate in the United States.

Affiliations: 1: 1Department of Biology, Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, Virginia 23005, USA; 2: 2Associate, C. P. Gillette Biodiversity Museum, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523, USA e-mail:; 3: 32740 Island Pond Lane, Naples, Florida 34119, USA e-mail: tigerbeetles@comcast.netReceived on June 26, 2014. Accepted on July 19, 2014. Final version received on August 24, 2014


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