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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Status of Listed Species and Recovery Plan Development

Puritan Tiger Beetle

Cicindela puritana -- Threatened


JPG-Puritan Tiger Beetle     GIF-Occurrence map

Current Status:

This species occurs along certain Chesapeake Bay beaches backed by eroding sand/clay cliffs. The larvae burrow into the bare cliff faces, where they may remain for 2 years before emerging as adults. Many cliff sections are being stabilized with bulkheads and riprap, rendering them unsuitable as larval habitat. Other threats include increased human foot traffic on beaches.


A formal section 7 consultation on a cliff stabilization project proposed by the Girl Scout Council at one of its camps in Cecil County resulted in protection for the beetles, compensation for the Girl Scouts (The Nature Conservancy is buying an easement on the property), and education for the campers. Their theme for the summer session was "Beetlemania," portrayed by an originally designed beetle logo. Special sessions for the Girl Scouts were set up to discuss the beetle and its needs. Calvert County, where most of the remaining beetle populations occur, has formed a commission that will study the importance of cliffs to the beetles and other organisms, and develop policy regarding cliff protection. In addition, the recovery plan for the Puritan tiger beetle is in its final stages of preparation.

Current Recovery Needs:

Continued monitoring and habitat protection are the species' greatest needs.

Section 6 Funding and Activities:

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (Forest, Park, and Wildlife Service) received $7,500 in FY 1991 and $5,000 in FY 1992 for monitoring the beetle and conducting a landowner contact program.


Maryland Department of Natural Resources: The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (Maryland Natural Heritage Program) has monitored and assessed impacts on this species. It has also analyzed land ownership and use patterns in beetle habitat and identified high priority sites for conservation, as well as supplied management recommendations for those sites.

Private researchers: Private researchers have conducted detailed ecological studies, as well as studies to determine the impacts of varying levels of human foot traffic on beetle larvae.

Recovery Plan Status:

Technical draft plan.

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