We assessed the validity of the reported regional decline of Cicindela marginata (Salt Marsh Tiger Beetle) in the northeastern US by examining data from 3 sources: potential habitat availability maps, author inquiries, and historical and current state records. While the species has apparently experienced decline at a few sites, we contend that existing data do not support the assertion of decline throughout the Northeast. The paucity of systematic surveys, a disproportionate number of northeastern states with comparatively short tidal shorelines, and over-reliance on C. hirticollis (Hairy-necked Tiger Beetle) as a proxy species for C. marginata, have all contributed to the perception of regional decline. Our findings indicate the need for a better understanding of this species' distribution and abundance. Concerted statewide surveys are needed to assess the current status of decline and to establish a baseline for assessing emerging threats such as sea-level rise due to climate change.
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Vol. 22 • No. 1