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Strategy for the Conservation and Recovery of Southeastern Imperiled Fishes

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Strategy For The Conservation Of Southeastern Imperiled Fishes

Prepared by

Kelly A. Bibb
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Atlanta, GA
Vincent A. Mudrak
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Warm Springs, GA
Stephen J. Walsh
U.S. Geological Survey
Gainesville, FL
Noel M. Burkhead
U.S. Geological Survey
Gainesville, FL
Richard G. Biggins
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Asheville, NC
May 2000

Developed from the Proceedings of a Workshop held by a Southeastern Imperiled Fishes Working Group October 26-28, 1999 Chattanooga, Tennessee

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

History of this Document: Prompted by concern over the plight of southeastern imperiled fishes (SIF) and a need to proactively address their conservation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) organized a meeting of a working group (Group) of over 60 aquatic natural-resource experts in October 1999 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Group, which included professionals representing State and Federal natural-resource management agencies, academia, conservation organizations, and industry, agreed to create a consensus-based action plan [Strategy for the Conservation and Recovery of Southeastern Imperiled Fishes (Strategy)] that would provide direction and guidance for the conservation and recovery of SIF. The Strategy represents a synthesis of the workshop and recommendations set forth by the Group, but it is intended to be a "living" document (i.e., it will be appropriately modified as new information accumulates and social and environmental issues change.)

Status of SIF: The Southeastern United States (see Figure 1) has the world's greatest diversity of temperate freshwater fishes. Well over half (more than 500 species) of North America's entire freshwater fish fauna is represented in the Southeast, and new species continue to be discovered and described regularly. Unfortunately, many species are increasingly threatened because of declining conditions in natural aquatic ecosystems throughout the region. The greatest threats to this fauna arise from a rapidly growing human population and associated accelerated development. Specifically, the primary threats arise from: (1) habitat fragmentation, degradation, and loss; (2) degraded water quality from physical and chemical pollution; (3) impoundment of rivers; (4) urbanization; and (5) introduced (nonindigenous) species. Over 30% of southeastern freshwater fishes are currently considered imperiled, and many of these species have become jeopardized within the last two decades. In spite of recent threats to the fauna, relatively few southeastern species have become extinct. Thus, opportunity exists to protect and recover the unique fauna provided there is societal initiative and incentive to do so. However, the chance to make changes is dwindling and it is unknown how long opportunities will last.

Major issues impacting SIF: The Group identified seven major issues impacting SIF:

  1. Insufficient coordination among existing and potential partners and stakeholders
  2. A lack of concern, awareness, and understanding of the values (e.g., ecological, scientific, aesthetic, economic) of our native fish fauna and healthy aquatic ecosystems and the human related impacts to them
  3. Chemical alterations of southeastern aquatic ecosystems
  4. Physical alterations of southeastern aquatic ecosystems
  5. Biological alterations of southeastern aquatic ecosystems
  6. The lack of biological knowledge for many SIF
  7. Insufficient funding

Strategic goals for SIF conservation: Through an adaptive and flexible management process involving partners (i.e., all levels of government, the scientific community, industries and businesses, local communities, conservation organizations, landowners, and the general public), reverse the trend of increasing imperilment of freshwater fishes in the Southeastern United States and prevent the extinction of any species, subspecies, or significant distinct population units. Specifically, the Group identified the following subgoals:

Achieving these goals will require establishing partnerships, coordinating conservation and protection efforts among many stakeholders, understanding causes and extent of decline, mitigating environmental problems, and assembling strong social and financial support for effectively implementing conservation planning. An adaptive management approach is recognized as the key to successful conservation and recovery of southeastern fishes.

Introduction

Decline In Southeastern Freshwater Fishes - A Case Of Unheralded Demise

Noel M. Burkhead and Stephen J. Walsh
U.S. Geological Survey
Florida Caribbean Science Center
7920 NW 71st Street
Gainesville, FL 32653

Attributes of Diversity: the Setting. Fishes are the most diverse vertebrate group, estimated to number over 23,000 species worldwide with about 200 new taxa described each year (Eschmeyer 1998). Indeed, fishes are so diverse that nearly half of all vertebrate species are fishes. About 40% of all fishes are freshwater, continental species (Berra 1981). This percentage is extraordinary considering that natural lakes and rivers comprise a mere 0.009% of the earth's water (the rest is in polar ice or oceans).

The richest temperate freshwater fish fauna in the world (about 800 native taxa) occurs in North America north of Mexico (Page and Burr 1991; Burr and Mayden 1992), and the majority of these (approximately 530 taxa or 66%) occur in the 11 States defined herein as the Southeast (see Figure 1) (Warren et al. 1997; Warren et al. 2000). Although this tally of species includes undescribed taxa (where preliminary study supports validity of putative taxa), the count does not include all distinct forms known to ichthyologists and additional ones are expected to be described. The remarkably diverse southeastern freshwater fish fauna is one of our nation's most unrecognized and under-appreciated natural resources.

The 530+ native southeastern fish taxa are divided among 42 families, five of which dominate the fauna: minnows (Cyprinidae), suckers (Catostomidae), bullhead catfishes (Ictaluridae, the largest fish family endemic to North America), black basses and sunfishes (Centrarchidae), and perches (Percidae). Of the remaining 37 families, 22 are primary freshwater groups, four contain anadromous species (i.e., those that spawn in fresh water and mature at sea), and one contains the catadromous American eel (Anguilla rostrata) (this species spawns in the Sargasso Sea and matures in fresh water). The remaining 10 families are comprised of marine invaders (oceanic fishes that sometimes swim hundreds of kilometers up rivers) that, with one exception, are omitted from the list of SIF (Appendix 1). The exception is the unusual circum-Caribbean Mountain mullet (Agonostumus monticola), a species that is considered to be amphidromous (i.e., apparently spawns in either fresh or salt water but spends part of its life cycle in fresh water, eclectically occurring in southeast Atlantic slope and eastern Gulf slope springs and spring-like creeks and rivers).

Biodiversity is frequently represented as the number of species per geographic area, but this usage does not capture the evolutionary breadth of the southeastern fish fauna; the biodiversity of this species-rich fauna is further represented by myriad morphological and ecological adaptations as the result of a rich and complex historical biology (Mayden 1992). The vast varieties of form and function, color and behavior, habits and habitats of southeastern fishes are the very attributes that make them intriguing and vital components of the aquatic biota.

Abundance (a component that is essential for maintaining biodiversity) is inadequately documented for southeastern fishes, but some experts suspect that current abundances of many populations are magnitudes less than those of 150 or more years ago. Unfortunately, historical data about former abundances are scant; a few cases exemplify declines in abundance. Lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) were so common in the Ohio River and Lake Erie during the 1850s that fishermen kept few for food, preferring to feed most of a catch to hogs or drying and burning them in piles (Trautman 1981). Commercial catches of Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrhincus) and American shad (Alosa sapidissima) in the late 1800s were enormous by today's standards (Jenkins and Burkhead 1994). Scientists can only speculate about the former abundances of suckers, particularly the redhorses that still stage large spawning runs in some southeastern rivers. Silver redhorse (Moxostoma anisurum) suckers have been observed densely crowded in pools of the Roanoke River, Virginia, pre-staging their annual spring spawning run (Burkhead, pers. obs.). Large river suckers may have migrated hundreds of kilometers annually, similar to many large fishes in great tropical rivers of the world such as the Amazon River. The magnificent robust redhorse (Moxostoma robustum), reaching 7 kg (15.4 pounds), may have historically congregated by the thousands for the annual spawning ritual. Now, the largest and one of few remaining populations of this large-river denizen is limited to a 37 rkm (~ 60 rmi) reach of the Oconee River, Georgia, below Sinclair Dam at the Fall Line.

Meager historical information is available on the longevity and size attained by many southeastern fishes. Pflieger (1997) reported that blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) weighing 57 to 91 kg (125 to 200 pounds) were commonly caught in the Missouri River after the Civil War. The ages of these larger catfishes may well have exceeded several decades. Likewise, the large sturgeons (Acipenser spp.) in the Southeastern United States were historically long-lived and attained larger sizes than most of the fish caught in recent decades.

Evidence of Faunal Decline: The number of Federally listed threatened and endangered freshwater fishes from the Southeastern United States has more than doubled (from 16 to 38 species) in the past 12 years. Likewise, the numbers of imperiled fishes recognized by specialists (Endangered Species Committee, American Fisheries Society, and the Technical Advisory Committee, Southeastern Fishes Council), nearly tripled (from 62 to 169 species) (see Table 1). The largest reported increase in imperiled fishes occurred between 1989 and 2000; 78 species, most as special concern, were recently recognized (Table 1). Unless freshwater ecosystems in the Southeast are better managed and protected, vulnerable fishes and other aquatic organisms will continue to wane. A more serious decline has been documented among freshwater mussels (Bogan 1993; Neves et al. 1997), and similar imperilment is also evident, but likely underestimated in crayfishes (Taylor et al. 1996).

Of the most recently recognized imperiled species, 48% were newly described taxa (including elevation of known or discovery of new subspecies). Two principal factors contribute to the recent increase in new taxa: (1) current faunal studies are the most detailed ever made and (2) cryptic forms have been separated into distinct taxa. Cryptic taxa are pairs or groups of similar appearing species (or subspecies) that have been detected through detailed systematic study as being taxonomically different (e.g, Boschung et al. 1992; Page et al. 1992; Bauer et al. 1995; Ceas and Page 1997; Bart and Taylor 1999). Driving this new era of faunal discovery are application of different species concepts (Mayden and Wood 1995; Mayden 1997) and refined systematic methods and interpretation. Some biologists may view these proposed taxonomic changes as different opinions between "lumpers" and "splitters." However, that is not the case. Rather, broader acceptance of evolutionary-based species concepts is the primary cause for recognition of greater levels of diversity. These interpretations are founded in recent theoretical advances in phylogenetic systematics and in the application of new technologies and approaches to studying biodiversity, such as molecular biology and behavioral ecology.

The most obvious evidence of faunal decline is the loss of species from portions of their historical ranges. Populations of some species that were common or relatively widespread decades ago have precipitously declined or disappeared, and some species that were formerly localized or isolated are now very rare (e.g., Burkhead et al. 1997). A good example of the latter is the slender chub (Erimystax cahni) in the Clinch and Powell rivers of east Tennessee and southwestern Virginia (Etnier and Starnes 1994; Jenkins and Burkhead 1994). Only two specimens of the slender chub have been seen in the last 11 years despite extensive efforts to capture it by experienced biologists familiar with its habitat and local occurrences. This species may have been seriously declining for several decades. Without systematic, intensive surveys and monitoring needed to detect small population changes, the gradual disappearance of uncommon or rare fishes, particularly localized species, may occur with little notice.

In the past 110 years, 27 species and 13 subspecies in three genera of North American fishes have become extinct (Miller et al. 1989). Only two of these species occurred in the Southeast: the harelip sucker (Moxostoma lacerum) (formerly widespread in the Ohio, Tennessee, and Cumberland river drainages), and the whiteline topminnow (Fundulus albolineatus) (endemic to Table 1. Summary of southeastern imperiled fishes from 1972 to present (list of species is in Appendix 1). Tally and status of species are from Miller (1972), Deacon et al. (1979), Williams et al. (1989), Warren et al. (2000), and Federal Register (1994, 1999b)). The 1972 list is for reference only (fishes were assigned conservation ranks based on status of peripheral populations in States; subsequent lists dropped this convention). The terms endangered (E), threatened (T), and special concern (SC) use standard definitions. X = extinct. XS = species extirpated throughout Southeastern U.S. New taxa = species described since previous list (includes first use of nominal subspecies or elevated subspecies). Upgraded = status upgraded due to reduced likelihood of extinction. Downgraded = status downgraded due to increased likelihood of extinction. NA = not applicable. Category 1 species terms are C1 (species clearly merit Federal listing) and C2 (further study is needed to determine if species merits Federal listing); here regarded as SC. Appendix 1 is the current list of imperiled fishes from the Southeastern United States; species and status listed therein were derived from Warren et al. (1997) and Warren et al. (2000). The 1972 to 1989 lists were from the Endangered Species Committee, American Fisheries Society ; the 2000 list was compiled by the Technical Advisory Committee of the Southeastern Fishes Council.

Year
 
2000
1989
1979
1972
1999 E&T
1994
C/C21
Total imperiled
172
92
62
68
35
57
Delisted
7
4
0
0
0
13
New to list
83
33
62
68
1
3
New taxa
48
8
5
0
0
1/30
Upgraded
14
7
0
0
0
10
Downgraded
15
5
0
0
0
2
No., % E
34, 19.8
14, 15.2
7, 11.3
2, 2.9
19, 52.8
NA
No., % T
40, 23.3
41, 44.6
39, 62.9
66, 97.0
17, 47.2
NA
No., % SC
95, 55.2 (4)
37, 40.2 (0)
16, 25.8 (0)
0
NA
C1: 4,7.0
(Only as C1 or C2)
(4)
(0)
(0)
NA
NA
C2: 53, 93.0
No., % X or XS
3, 1.7
2, 2.2
2, 3.2
2, 2.9
NA
NA
1The list of candidate species, "Animal Candidate Review for Listing as Endangered or Threatened Species, was discontinued due to confusion regarding the intent of the list. Some people misconstrued that all species on the candidate list would be listed as endangered or threatened (Sayers 1996).

a spring near Huntsville, Alabama). The presumed year that the harelip sucker went extinct was 1910 and for the whiteline topminnow the year was 1900. Additionally, southeastern populations of the greater redhorse (Moxostoma valencienesi) have been extirpated. Because of the difficulty in determining if a species is extinct, six southeastern fishes were once reported as extinct but later rediscovered (Miller et al. 1989). Of the 40 extinct taxa reported by Miller et al. (1989), 19 have disappeared since 1964. The most recent extinction of a North American fish is probably that of the Maryland darter (Etheostoma sellare), which has not been seen for well over a decade. Case studies of some of these extinctions were reviewed by Ono et al. (1983).

Escalating imperilment of fishes and other aquatic animals in the Southeast is primarily due to widespread destruction and modification of riverine habitats (Warren and Burr 1994; Lydeard and Mayden 1995; Walsh et al. 1995; Taylor et al. 1996; Burkhead et al. 1997; Neves et al. 1997; Warren et al. 1997). Alteration and degradation of southeastern streams and landscapes was initially gradual and rather episodic in the decades following settlement by the first European immigrants (e.g., the Georgia gold rush of 1829, extensive deforestation 100+ years ago, etc.). However, rapidly expanding human population growth and recent technological advances have led to more persistent and ecologically devastating impacts on the landscape, especially in the last 20 years (Noss and Peters 1995). The widespread impacts of regional growth on aquatic biodiversity is the primary basis for the Southeast being identified as a global freshwater "hot spot" for extinctions and extirpations (Master et al. 1998; Abell et al. 2000). Natural resources are increasingly depleted or destroyed, arable lands are lost to urbanization, natural forests are eliminated, habitats are altered or converted to unnatural conditions, and numerous other human activities are ecologically detrimental. The resulting effect of these changes is greater fragmentation of habitats and growing threats to biodiversity. These problems are exacerbated by rural and metropolitan areas that have exceeded the carrying capacity of their immediate resources (e.g., municipal water supplies) and are beginning to exact negative environmental consequences on neighboring areas. Future population growth must be carefully balanced with judicious management and conservation of natural resources, or else unsustainable development will lead to more dire threats to the southeastern biota.

In spite of habitat loss and other threats to the southeastern fish fauna and an overall pattern of decline, there are some successes in protection and recovery of species, and there is a solid basis for optimism in the conservation of this biota. Local and regional watershed associations have mushroomed in recent years, and such grassroot organizations that are dedicated to protecting and restoring natural resources act as catalysts in promoting effective conservation efforts. Recent years have also witnessed a dramatic increase in the amount of streambank restoration programs. Examples of single-species recovery efforts that have been successful are reintroduction and population augmentation of the Alabama pygmy sunfish (Elassoma alabamae), the yellowfin madtom (Noturus flavipinnis), smoky madtom (Noturus baileyi), spotfin chub (Cyprinella monacha), Tennessee dace (Phoxinus tennesseensis), and a number of additional species. Another particularly notable example is that of the robust redhorse, a species that is the subject of a large multi-agency, prelisting recovery effort.

Basis of Modern Lists: Concern for declining North American native fishes began to coalesce in 1963 when professional organizations, principally the American Fisheries Society (AFS), the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (ASIH), and State and Federal agencies joined efforts to address the issue (Miller 1972). During the formative decades of environmental activism (1960s and 1970s), Congress passed the Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966, which included the first Federal list of endangered species (Federal Register 1967). This list contained 21 fishes, mostly western desert species (17), and one wide-ranging species (shortnose sturgeon, Acipenser brevirostrum) with vital populations in the Southeast. The 1966 Act was amended several times and in 1970 the first exclusively southeastern fish, the watercress darter (Etheostoma nuchale), was among 10 additional native fishes added to the list (Federal Register 1970). The 1970 amendments broadened the coverage of the 1966 Act to include all vertebrates, mollusks, and crustaceans, and extended the coverage to include subspecies (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1973). When the Endangered Species Act of 1973 was enacted (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1973; 1974), the okaloosa darter (Etheostoma okaloosae) was the second exclusively southeastern fish listed.

Miller's 1972 AFS list contained 305 taxa from the U.S., 68 of those were from the Southeast. Most of the fishes on this list were western species. The difference between the Federal and AFS lists, besides obvious political constraints, resulted from Miller and colleagues having consulted with over 60 ichthyologists, fish biologists, fisheries scientists, and graduate students, to prepare the first AFS list. However, the basis for the inclusion of many taxa as threatened was their peripheral occurrence in various States. Hence, many of the species were not in jeopardy nationally. Consequently, the 68 species in Table 1 under "1972" are listed for reference but are not used in subsequent comparisons.

The large number of western fishes on Federal and AFS lists reflects the complexity of conservation threats facing fishes living in arid or intermountain environments and those in over-allocated river systems (Minckley and Deacon 1991). Although a depauperate fauna, it is easy to understand the high proportion of imperiled western fishes; they occur in limited and highly vulnerable habitats (e.g., reaches favored for impoundments), some have small ranges, and many populations have been ravaged by the introductions of nonindigenous species. Widespread concern for long-term protection of the southeastern fauna began to develop when it was widely realized that human impacts on this rich fauna could ultimately cause cataclysmic extirpations and extinctions similar to events in the West. In 1975, the Southeastern Fishes Council (SFC) was formed by a group of concerned Southeastern ichthyologists and fisheries professionals. The SFC, modeled after the successful Desert Fishes Council, is dedicated to the conservation of southeastern fishes. The official journal of the SFC is its Proceedings (published semiannually) that has documented threats to the aquatic fauna and decline of many species.

Subsequent lists of imperiled U.S. fishes (Deacon et al. 1979; Williams et al. 1989) applied more critical standards for including species. During the 1960s and 1970s, there was a large infusion of students in the disciplines of ichthyology and fisheries, subsequently resulting in more detailed study of the fauna, its composition, species ranges, and new information on rare taxa. The supposedly extinct slender chub (Erimystax cahni), yellowfin madtom (Noturus flavipinnis), and sharphead darter (Etheostoma acuticeps) were rediscovered during this era (Davis and Reno 1966; Taylor 1969; Jenkins and Burkhead 1975). The ratio of new species on lists of imperiled fishes significantly increased between lists of Deacon et al. (1979) and Williams et al. (1989) (Table 1).

Warren et al. (2000) provides the most thorough list of southeastern species to date and reflects the current state of taxonomic knowledge about the fauna. It is remarkable that 51% of the taxa appearing for the first time on the list of imperiled fishes (see Appendix 1) were described since Williams et al. (1989). Indeed, an extraordinary tribute to Southeastern biodiversity is the continuing discovery and descriptions of new species after more than two centuries of formal faunal exploration (since the 10th edition of Linneaus' Systema Naturae). This fact is especially notable given that the North America fish fauna is the best studied in the world. However, the tally of southeastern fishes is still incomplete (Warren et al. 2000).

The rapidly rising level of imperilment of southeastern fishes is not the result of failed stewardship by the Federal government; rather, overall faunal decline in the Southeast (and elsewhere) is ultimately the result of societal neglect and disregard. Only one other document like this exists: "National Strategy for the Conservation of Native Freshwater Mussels;" in the five years since it was drafted, the alarming decline of freshwater mussels has been widely publicized and is now familiar to a much broader segment of society. Development of a similar strategy for freshwater fishes is founded, in part, on the success of the strategy for mussels. Concerned professionals in the Southeast are committed and deeply involved in critical research and restoration efforts to conserve the unique, rich, and irreplaceable aquatic fauna of the region. Given favorable opportunities and protection of vital habitats, this fauna, including the rare and threatened fishes, is capable of resiliency and recovery. It is hoped that this document will provide a solid foundation for future efforts to protect the southeastern freshwater fish fauna.

History Of The Document

Recognizing that no coordinated regional strategy exists to stem or reverse the imperilment of southeastern fishes, the Service organized a meeting of a working group (Group) of over 60 aquatic natural-resource experts (see Appendix II: List of Participants) in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on 26-28 October 1999, to develop this Strategy for the Conservation and Recovery of Southeastern Imperiled Fishes (Strategy). The Group, which included a broad spectrum of professionals representing natural resource management agencies, academia, conservation organizations, and industry, agreed to create a consensus-based action plan that would provide direction and guidance for the conservation and recovery of southeastern imperiled fishes (SIF). This document represents a synthesis of the workshop and recommendations set forth by the Group.

Strategic Goals

Through an adaptive and flexible management process involving partners (i.e., all levels of government, the scientific community, industries and businesses, local communities, conservation organizations, landowners, and the general public) reverse the trend of increasing imperilment of freshwater fishes in the Southeastern United States and prevent the extinction of any species, subspecies, or significant distinct population units. Specifically, the Group identified the following subgoals:

Note: This Strategy outlines the primary issues, goals, and tasks that the Group identified. The document does not identify all current conservation activities nor all the tasks that are needed for long-term recovery of SIF. It is offered as guidance to provide a regional perspective of SIF issues and needs. The document is intended to help agencies, organizations, and individuals identify the types of conservation and recovery tasks that they could implement to assist in this effort. This is an initial attempt to identify the problems faced by SIF and the actions needed to reverse the imperilment trend. As new information on threats, management techniques, and conservation opportunities become available, the Strategy should be revised to incorporate these data.

Identification Of Specific Issues, Goals, And Strategies

Issue 1: Insufficient coordination among existing and potential partners and stakeholders impedes the conservation and recovery of SIF.

Goal: Improve coordination among existing and potential partners to conserve and recover SIF.

Strategies:

1.1 Develop a permanent, self-governing, multi-agency organization with representatives from government agencies, academia, NGOs, industry, and other interested parties that coordinates and promotes the conservation and recovery of SIF. A formal SIF organization (SIFO) could: (1) be a significant, recognizable advocate for SIF; (2) unite partners and stakeholders; (3) promote the use of an adaptive management process in the conservation and recovery of SIF; (4) encourage cross-jurisdictional coordination and communication among and within all levels of organizations; (5) assist partners to develop and initiate programs that minimize the impacts of human population growth and development on SIF; (6) implement and update the Strategy; (7) identify regional research and management needs; (8) prioritize SIF and imperiled aquatic communities in need of management; (9) seek funding; (10) develop a mechanism to quickly exchange information among researchers, managers, administrators, and others interested in SIF; (11) identify needs, develop training programs, and sponsor symposia; (12) facilitate the development of SIF management guidelines and protocols; (13) advocate the use of measurable and biologically relevant management objectives; (14) provide regulatory agencies and others with the information needed to develop standards and "best management practices" (BMPs) that protect SIF; and (15) encourage the implementation of "on-the-ground" conservation and recovery actions.

1.1.1 Establish working groups within SIFO (e.g., outreach, chemical threats, physical threats, biological threats, survey/inventory needs, research needs, reintroduction/artificial propagation, funding) to address various broad issues and needs identified by the SIFO. These working groups could identify problems; recommend potential solutions; help foster communication among researchers, managers, partners, and stakeholders on specific SIF issues; and encourage and assist in the development of specific SIF management plans.

Issue 2: A lack of concern, awareness, and understanding of the values (e.g., ecological, scientific, aesthetic, economic) of our native fish fauna and healthy aquatic ecosystems and the human related impacts to them impedes the effective management of SIF.

Goal: Enhance public and private understanding and support for programs that conserve and recover aquatic ecosystems and SIF.

Strategies:

Note: Outreach, which must target the general public, natural resource professionals, and many other groups, is essential to the success of nearly every strategy outlined below. However, the message should not be the plight of "the poor little fishes." Emphasis should be on the economic, aesthetic, and recreational values of healthy aquatic ecosystems and their connection to the quality of the human experience, and the inherent role of SIF in the environment.

2.1 Compile and make readily available an annotated list of existing SIF and aquatic ecosystem related outreach material. Considerable educational material relating to SIF, the values of natural aquatic ecosystems, and how to protect them already exists.

2.2 Identify the issues that need outreach and develop material to address those issues. Outreach is a critical component in the conservation and recovery of SIF. The message must be clear, concise, targeted to specific audiences, and it must also be well packaged (e.g., The Nature Conservancy's "Rivers of Life"). It must emphasize not just SIF, but all other ecosystem and human benefits (i.e., sport fisheries, clean water, water related recreation) that result from effective management of SIF. Prioritize issues (e.g., control of nonindigenous species, habitat restoration, the values of SIF and natural aquatic ecosystems, chemical and physical threats) that require outreach solutions and that will respond well to outreach programs. Develop material targeted at the audiences identified in Task 2.3.

2.3 Identify target audiences, evaluate the need for outreach material for these audiences, and utilize appropriate media/material to convey a focused SIF and aquatic ecosystem conservation message to those audiences. Identify target groups that can assist with aquatic conservation and those that could be, or perceive they could be, impacted by the program. Utilize existing and specific outreach material developed for these target groups. Facilitate involvement of grassroot watershed-protection associations, public river organizations, and local land owners.

2.3.1 Develop and implement outreach programs that increase public awareness of the plight and uniqueness of SIF and the many public benefits of maintaining and recovering the natural ecological integrity of aquatic ecosystems. The future of the SIF and other aquatic biota (e.g., sport fish, amphibians, reptiles, small mammals) depends on public support for aquatic ecosystem conservation and recovery programs. The public generally places relatively little value on aquatic species (with the exception of some game species). Provide information the public can use to judge the benefits and the costs of preserving SIF. Develop specific material for teachers/environmental education programs.

2.3.2 Develop and implement outreach programs that increase government agency awareness of SIF issues and solutions. Support within governmental natural resources agencies and other agencies with programs that include aquatic resources is critical to a successful SIF conservation effort. For these agencies to consider SIF within their programs, they must be provided with information on: (1) the ecological and social values of maintaining the biodiversity in freshwater ecosystems; (2) those species and aquatic ecosystems that are at greatest risk and in need of SIF conservation; (3) causes of imperilment; (4) suggested management alternatives that may be more appropriate to protect SIF; and (5) cases where SIF management could be incorporated into existing programs without significant cost increases or changes in project design.

2.3.3 Develop and implement outreach programs for State and local planners, local governments, environmental consultants and other groups (e.g., community action committees, Farm Bureau, county extension agents, Coastal Zone Management Programs) that could potentially effect SIF conservation. Population growth and urban development adversely affect aquatic resources. Many planners and local governments are concerned with the loss of quality aquatic ecosystems and could help to steer growth away from sensitive areas. Other groups and organizations could become allies if provided with outreach material. Stakeholders should be provided with both technical and general information on: (1) the plight of SIF; (2) causes of their imperilment; (3) benefits of maintaining healthy and intact natural aquatic ecosystems; (4) effective management options; (5) how aquatic ecosystem conservation and recovery can be integrated into the planning process; (6) existing funding opportunities to assist in conservation efforts; and (7) which aquatic communities and species are imperiled (see Task 6.1.1).

2.3.4 Develop and implement outreach programs for NGOs. Many NGOs (e.g., The Nature Conservancy; World Wildlife Fund, American Fisheries Society, American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Trout Unlimited, Izaak Walton League, Science Educators of America, American Rivers, Association of Southeastern Biologists, universities, zoos, museums, aquaria) actively support aquatic resource conservation. They should be: (1) kept informed of this conservation initiative; (2) provided with educational materials related to the goals, strategies; and progress of this effort, and (3) encouraged to join the effort.

2.3.5 Identify and implement outreach programs that assist and guide field biologists, natural resources law enforcement officers, and others in implementing this strategy. Provide SIF conservation partners with: (1) an annotated bibliography of existing SIF and related literature (e.g., the Southeastern Fishes Council has submitted a paper to the journal Fisheries on the diversity, distribution, and conservation status of native freshwater fishes of the southern U.S.); (2) assistance in compiling, updating, and reviewing databases on the historic and current distribution of southeastern fishes; (3) an effective information transfer system on current SIF research, management, and conservation issues; (4) training programs (e.g., integrating SIF management with existing management, outreach, habitat restoration); and (5) permit requirements for working on State and Federally listed species. The programs and activities of the SIFO will also help keep field biologists informed of new technologies and management options.

2.3.6 Develop and implement outreach programs for teachers, school children, and civic organizations. The importance of getting a simple, concise, captivating, and informative SIF conservation message to teachers, children, parents, and the general public cannot be over stressed.

2.4 Evaluate the effectiveness of outreach programs. Outreach programs should have measurable objectives and be implemented through an adaptive management approach. Ineffective outreach programs must be eliminated or modified.

2.5 Cultivate contacts with the print and electronic media and be available to provide information and assistance on SIF and aquatic issues. Effective, inexpensive marketing of the SIF issues can be conducted through existing media outlets. Encourage the reporting of success stories; when an agency, community, industry, or individual does something positive for SIF, get the message out.

2.6 Develop a list of biological experts that would be available to assist with outreach. Identify biological experts (e.g., zoogeographers, ecologists, taxonomist, fisheries biologists) willing to give SIF presentations to schools and civic organizations and be available to answer media questions.

Issue 3: Chemical alterations of southeastern aquatic ecosystems imperil the region's fish fauna.

Goal: Minimize and, where possible, eliminate chemical threats to SIF.

Strategies:

3.1 Increase understanding of how chemical alterations of aquatic ecosystems imperil SIF and how to control them. Chemical contamination (point and non-point) from mining, agriculture, (e.g., improper application of pesticides, concentrated animal feeding operations), water treatment plants, silviculture, industry, storm-water discharges, domestic use, and other sources threaten SIF. However, information is inadequate about how most chemical alterations impact species, their habitat, and aquatic ecosystems. Information is needed on what concentrations and exposure durations are acutely and chronically toxic, the synergistic effects of chemicals, and how to better control chemical releases into the environment.

3.1.1 Identify chemicals of potential concern. Evaluate existing data sets (e.g., NAWQA, 303d, 305b listings, recovery plans) and solicit input from scientists and managers on which chemicals need immediate study.

3.1.2 Test for chronic and acute toxicity of chemicals identified in Task 3.1.1. Toxicity research should conform to protocols established for animal toxicology studies. Whenever possible, tests should be run on SIF or closely related surrogate species to acquire information that best represents the contaminant thresholds for SIF. Such test fish should provide more representative and reliable results for managers and regulators. Holding and captive propagation technology (see Task 6.1.5) and genetic studies to help identify closely related surrogates (see Task 6.1.4) are needed for this task.

3.1.3 Test the chronic and acute toxicity of substrate and water samples from imperiled fish habitats. Some populations are in decline and chemical toxicity is suspected. Determination of what chemicals may be involved can be made through substrate and water toxicity testing.

3.1.4 Determine the impacts of toxicity on the food web. Chemicals may indirectly impact fishes through changes in food availability.

3.1.5 Determine the impact of altering concentrations of naturally occurring chemicals. Alteration of naturally occurring chemicals (e.g., oxygen, carbon dioxide) can adversely impact SIF by changing pH, hardness, etc.

3.2 Provide existing and new toxicity information to environmental regulatory agencies, natural resources agencies, conservation organizations, industries, and others. It is critical that the information gets out to organizations that set and enforce standards that protect imperiled fish. Also, package the information for public distribution so they understand that toxic impacts to fish are an early warning of potential public health concerns.

3.3 Increase understanding of the impact of the chemical constituents of non-point runoff and storm water on SIF and aquatic ecosystems. Because of the Clean Water Act and the work of State water resources agencies, industries, communities, and individuals, many of the region's worst point source effluents have been eliminated or significantly reduced. However, the toxic impacts of non-point and storm-water source pollution are far from being controlled. Apply the information gained from Tasks 3.1.1 to 3.1.5 to better understand the toxic impacts of chemical contamination in non-point and storm-water pollution.

3.4 Continue to support enforcement of existing point, non-point, and storm-water discharge laws and regulations and encourage changes in laws and regulations, where needed to protect SIF. Much can and has been accomplished by utilizing existing laws and regulations. Where existing water quality criteria, administrative procedures, laws, and regulations are not protective of SIF, seek changes and other means to protect these species.

3.5 Encourage and assist in developing and implementing BMPs to minimize and eliminate adverse chemical impacts of non-point and storm-water pollution. Work with natural resources agencies; NGOs; agriculture, silviculture, and mining interests; highway departments; communities; and others to develop BMPs. Explore and promote the development of financial incentives to assist in implementing BMPs.

Issue 4: Physical alterations of southeastern aquatic ecosystems imperil the region's fish fauna.

Goal: Minimize and, where possible, eliminate physical threats to SIF.

Strategies:

4.1 Increase understanding of how physical alterations of aquatic ecosystems imperil SIF and how to control them. Physical alterations of aquatic ecosystems (e.g., impoundments, cold and warm water releases, turbidity/water clarity, siltation and sedimentation, hydrograph modifications, alteration of riparian habitat, dredging and gravel mining, removal of woody material) have eliminated large areas of natural aquatic habitats; significantly altered many others; and left numerous once contiguous (or conterminous) populations fragmented, isolated, and vulnerable to extinction or extirpation. When impacts of some alterations are obvious, immediate action should be taken to correct these threats. However, other impacts are subtle and need research to fully understand them. Better information is needed on the cause and effect of physical habitat alterations to convince regulators, industries, landowners, and the public that: (1) serious problems exist; (2) physical alterations impact SIF and many other components of aquatic systems; and (3) that many of these problems can be corrected.

4.2 Provide existing and new physical threat information to environmental regulatory agencies, natural resources agencies, conservation organizations, industries, developers, and others. It is critical that this information is widely distributed so agencies can develop standards and BMPs that protect SIF.

4.3 Continue to enforce existing laws and regulations controlling physical alterations of aquatic resources and encourage change where needed to protect SIF. Much can be accomplished by utilizing existing laws and regulations. Where they are not protective of SIF, seek changes.

4.4 Develop partnerships to conserve and recover aquatic habitats for the benefit of SIF. Habitat conservation and restoration is critical to reversing the trend of SIF. Use information gathered under Task 6.1.1 to identify areas to concentrate habitat restoration efforts. Use outreach material and initiatives developed under Issue 2 to help garner support.

4.4.1 Encourage and assist in developing and implementing BMPs to minimize and eliminate adverse physical impacts. Work with natural resources and regulatory agencies; NGOs; highway departments; agriculture, mining and silviculture interests; and others to help develop BMPs (e.g., riparian buffer strips, culvert designs for fish passage, siltation and sedimentation controls, flow regimes) that are protective of SIF. Explore and promote the development of financial incentives to assist communities, industries, and individuals in implementing BMPs.

4.4.2 Work with municipalities, industries, highway departments, and others to reduce the physical impacts of non-point and storm-water runoff to SIF. In many areas of the Southeast, the physical impacts of non-point and storm-water runoff pose significant threats to SIF.

4.4.3 Develop, encourage, and initiate local watershed improvement initiatives. Grassroots watershed organizations are restoring aquatic habitat throughout the Southeast. Local watershed groups are effectively working with State and Federal agencies, NGOs, communities, and landowners on a multitude of projects (e.g., restoring riparian habitat, improving instream habitat, controlling non-point and storm-water runoff, minimizing livestock impacts). Gather case studies of restoration efforts and share with others.

4.4.4 Work with Federal and State natural resources agencies, regulatory agencies, hydroelectric companies, and others to minimize the impacts of dams and dam operations on SIF. Dams and reservoirs significantly impact SIF. They fragment populations, inundate riverine habitat, alter hydrographs and temperature regimes, and provide habitat for invasive nonindegeonous species. Recently, a few non-economically viable dams have been removed and a few more may go. But, most dams will stay. Some power companies and Federal agencies [e.g., U.S. Corps of Army Engineers (Corps) and Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)] have improved their reservoir management programs to benefit aquatic resources. Continue to develop partnerships with power companies, Federal agencies, and others to improve the physical and chemical quality of reservoir releases, strive to restore natural hydrographs and temperature regimes, and evaluate fish passage potential. Consider dam removal where economically feasible and biologically important for the conservation of SIF and other natural resources. Some of these goals could be achieved through the dam relicensing process with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Issue 5: Biological alterations of southeastern aquatic ecosystems imperil the region's fish fauna.

Goal: Minimize and, where possible, eliminate biological threats to SIF.

Strategies:

5.1 Increase understanding of how biological alterations and issues within aquatic ecosystems imperil SIF and how to control them. The fish fauna of the Southeast faces many new biological threats (e.g., nonindigenous species, new diseases and parasites, toxic algal blooms, incidental and intentional take of SIF). Managers need information on these issues and new and improved control and management techniques.

5.1.1 Increase understanding of the impact of nonindigenous species and implement corrective actions where practical and necessary. Nonindigenous species pose a significant threat to native fishes. Managers need information on: (1) how they impact SIF and other components of aquatic ecosystems; (2) how to control their numbers and stop their range expansion; and (3) how to block invasions of new exotic species. An aggressive external and internal outreach program is essential to control the spread of this biological pollution.

5.1.2 Increase understanding of the impact of toxic algal blooms, parasites, diseases, and other pathogens and implement corrective actions where practical and necessary. The increased incidence of toxic algal blooms (in coastal habitats), parasites, and other diseases appears related to environmental factors (i.e., declining water quality and environmental stress). Naturally occurring pathogens can become a problem under certain environmental conditions. Managers need information on the cause and effect of these outbreaks and how to control them.

5.1.3 Determine where incidental and intentional take is threatening SIF and/or associated habitats and, where necessary and feasible, implement corrective measures.

5.1.3.1 Determine the impact of incidental take on SIF. Incidental take and/or habitat perturbation associated with commercial activities can occur as: (1) a bycatch component of fisheries harvests; (2) during dredging operations; (3) as a result of water withdrawal for irrigation; (4) during some aquatic resource and other scientific sampling efforts (e.g., seining, electrofishing, rotenone); and (5) during other activities that result in death or injury of fishes. If threats from these activities could potentially threaten the conservation and recovery of SIF, the threat should be evaluated and corrective measures developed and implemented (e.g., training to avoid or minimize take, method and equipment modifications, regulation changes, increased enforcement). However, efforts must ensure that corrective measures are essential to SIF conservation and recovery and that the measures do not unnecessarily burden legitimate and necessary biological research and management or the public's use of aquatic resources.

5.1.3.2 Determine the impact of intentional take of SIF. Intentional take occurs: (1) when SIF are knowingly taken without a required permit; and (2) when activities (e.g., biological sampling, habitat modification) are known to impact SIF but no measures are taken to protect the species. Permits should be required to collect SIF and when other unrelated sampling efforts may negatively impact them. Permit conditions should be reasonable and only as restrictive as necessary to protect SIF. To be effective, permit conditions should be enforced. When permits are required to modify SIF habitats (e.g., dredge, fill, discharge potential toxins), the permits should be conditioned to protect SIF and enforced.

5.2 Provide existing and new biological threat information to environmental regulatory agencies, natural resources agencies, conservation organizations, industries, and others. It is critical that the information gets out to organizations that set and enforce standards that protect SIF. Also, package the information for public distribution.

Issue 6: The lack of biological knowledge impedes the effective management of many SIF.

Goal: Obtain the biological knowledge needed to conserve and recover SIF.

Strategies:

6.1 Gather and distribute the biological information needed to support sound management of SIF. Biological knowledge of SIF must be increased and the information made readily available to managers, regulators, and researchers. Actions to protect and recover SIF may often be required in the absence of sound scientific data, but efforts should strive toward obtaining critical biological information in a timely fashion in order to make judicious management decisions.

6.1.1 Determine the location, demographics, and status of SIF and communities. Many species and fish communities need basic or updated surveys. Knowledge of the historical and current condition and location of SIF is critical to their management. Develop a database that delineates the distribution and status of SIF by stream reach (see Task 2.3.5).

6.1.1.1 Gather existing historical and current distributional, demographical, and status data on SIF and communities. Search existing published and unpublished literature, museum records, and other sources to continually augment databases of the historical and current condition of the region's fish fauna. Work closely with The Nature Conservancy and other partners currently involved in compiling existing data and reviewing and disseminating results (e.g., TNC ecoregional planning programs, etc.).

6.1.1.2 Identify priority waters, communities, and SIF in need of survey efforts. Basic survey information is needed to help identify where to focus efforts. The historical information from Task 6.1.1.1 will help identify those areas that are in need of updated or new surveys.

6.1.1.3 Provide current and historical distributional information in a format readily available to natural resources agencies and other partners. The data should be available as a web-based, geospatial database, and made widely available to managers, researchers, NGOs, and planners (see Task 2.3).

6.1.1.4 Assist and encourage managers to prioritize waters within their work areas for SIF conservation and recovery. A prioritized list of biologically significant waters would help managers, NGOs, and planners identify areas for conservation and recovery efforts.

6.1.2 Gather information on the basic life-history requirements of SIF. Natural resource managers often lack the basic life-history data (e.g., longevity, food habits, reproductive cycle, habitat needs) needed to manage SIF. Managers also need the scientifically based rationales that develop from these data to help guide and assist other natural resources agencies, planners, and developers balance the demands for economic development with the requirements of SIF.

6.1.3 Identify the causes of the downward trend in many southeastern fishes. Some of the causes of decline will surface through the research and applied management information gathered for chemical, physical, and biological threats covered under Issues 3 to 5. However, other biological and ecological research must be initiated and integrated with research from a variety of fields to answer many questions and to derive solutions.

6.1.4 Increase understanding of genetic issues/problems facing SIF. New genetic techniques can provide important information needed to ensure that irreversible genetic problems are avoided during the SIF recovery process. In some cases, collection of genetic data may not be practical or feasible because of small population sizes or expense involved. To the maximum extent possible, genetic data should be used in conjunction with other information when considering recovery of SIF, but recovery efforts should not be limited to those species for which ample genetic data are available. Data from genetic research should be used to develop sound genetic planning decisions (e.g., numbers of brood stock, strains of species to be used, numbers of progeny to be used from donor populations) in order to minimize effects on native populations during reintroduction or population enhancement.

6.1.4.1 Determine where genetic "bottlenecks" have an impact on SIF and implement corrective actions where practical and necessary . Because of habitat fragmentation and subsequent reduced gene flow among isolated populations, some small populations have or will experience genetic "bottlenecks" that further threaten their survival. It is imperative to know when populations are about to fall below genetically viable levels and when to initiate "genetically acceptable" techniques to stabilize or correct the problem.

6.1.4.2 Determine where hybridization has an impact on SIF and implement corrective actions where practical and necessary. Because of the invasion of nonindigenous species and environmental stresses, some closely related species are threatened by hybridization. When existing populations are augmented, consider the potential genetic impact that released fishes could have on genetic diversity of remnant populations.

6.1.4.3 Gain a better understanding of the genetic relationships among closely related species groups, complexes, and widespread populations of the same species. Some species that are currently considered common may actually be complexes of species containing taxa that are rare and may require protection. Molecular genetics research, in conjunction with conventional systematic methods, could reveal or clarify these taxonomic relationships. Some populations of species have evolved unique gene complexes that allow them to survive under specific conditions (e.g., warm springs, turbid conditions). These studies help determine if significant population segments should be managed as genetically distinct units, and genetic research can help identify sister species for use in surrogate studies (i.e., toxicity studies [see Task 3.1.2]). Genetic comparisons within and among populations of a species are also needed when considering reintroductions or population enhancement.

6.1.5 Develop priorities and technology for reintroducing and enhancing populations where necessary and appropriate to recover or maintain SIF. Long term conservation and recovery cannot be achieved without protecting or restoring suitable habitat (see Task 4.4). However, propagation, reintroduction, and augmentation can be effective SIF conservation tools to: (1) restore extirpated populations; (2) avoid or reduce genetic "bottlenecks;" and (3) in rare instances, where a species' survival requires augmentation, to keep a population from extinction. Propagation and reintroductions should be: (1) guided by carefully established and peer-reviewed recovery plans; (2) under the direction of a multi-agency recovery group or team; and (3) based on clear and precise scientific principles. Captive propagation can assist in conservation and recovery of seriously jeopardize species, but it should not be viewed as a singular solution or a commercially viable activity.

6.1.5.1 Develop suitable methods and protocols for captively propagating SIF where needed. Holding and propagation techniques have been developed for only a few species, but even where techniques are available, additional research is needed to further refine those methods. Some SIF have unique and very specific holding, reproductive, and rearing requirements that will require innovative methods. Basic information is needed to determine optimal conditions for reintroductions or population enhancement.

6.1.5.2 Use methods to ensure that parasites and diseases do not adversely impact SIF. SIF propagation facilities should be examined for fish pathogens. SIF should be isolated from other species and conspecific populations in order to maintain optimal fish health (e.g., stress reduction, effective therapeutic agents, effective feeding strategies, water quality management). Besides protecting SIF being propagated, care must be taken to ensure that remnant wild populations are not contaminated by undesirable pathogens when SIF are released.

6.1.5.3 Work with partners to develop reintroduction strategies. Recovery teams should work closely with natural resources agencies and other partners to develop strategic plans for reintroductions or population enhancement. When appropriate, designation of federally listed fish reintroductions as nonessential experimental populations (NEP) should be considered. Local communities, State and Federal agencies, and landowners may be generally opposed to reintroducing federally listed species because of the potential or perceived impacts of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act). Under an NEP designation, the regulatory impacts of the Act can be markedly reduced.

6.2 Monitor the status of populations to determine the effectiveness of current management actions and need for management changes. Managers are often reluctant to fund monitoring. However, monitoring is necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of management techniques. Monitoring can test the validity of BMPs, changes in chemical discharge standards, habitat improvement programs, and the success of population reintroductions and augmentations. Monitoring should be conducted under experimental designs that test hypotheses.

Issue 7: Insufficient funding impedes effective conservation and recovery of SIF.

Goal: Acquire adequate and consistent funding to implement conservation and recovery of SIF.

Strategies:

7.1 Develop partnerships with and seek funding from government agencies, private organizations, foundations, industries, and individuals. No one agency or organization has sufficient funds or expertise to conserve and recover SIF. Partnerships, cooperative ventures, and funding from within and outside government are essential. Additionally, most SIF conservation cannot succeed unless it is integrated with other aquatic ecosystem conservation efforts.

7.1.1 Seek funding assistance from Federal and State agencies that have direct involvement with aquatic resource management. Many natural resources agencies (e.g., U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Tennessee Valley Authority, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, State natural resources agencies) are currently funding projects related to aquatic resource conservation and recovery. Develop specific SIF proposals and, where possible, integrate SIF management into existing management plans. Encourage agencies to examine existing authorities and programs and assist in SIF conservation.

7.1.2 Seek SIF conservation funding from agencies or organizations that conduct activities that impact SIF communities. Many regulatory agencies oversee programs that secondarily benefit SIF; these agencies should be encouraged to strengthen their programs to improve protection for SIF. Pursue cooperative funding that meets both the agency's and SIF's needs. Encourage establishing mitigation trust funds to help compensate for the loss of SIF and habitat caused by development projects. For example, a trust fund was established to mitigate for loss of a mussel bed on the Ohio River; this trust now provides funds for mussel research and conservation projects.

7.1.3 Seek funding assistance from NGOs, businesses, and foundations. Many organizations fund conservation projects or provide in-kind support. If one organization provides funding, other organizations are often more willing to match the original funds. Contact these organizations and build cooperative efforts among these groups.

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Appendix 1

List Of Southeastern U.S. Imperiled Freshwater Fishes: "threatened fishes of U.S.in the 1972 list, which assigned status to peripheral populations of species by States (reference only: not used for comparison with subsequent lists). Arrow symbols denotes status of species being up- (?) or downgraded (?). Year of most recent Federal list of T&E species is 1998, and 1994 is the date of the last Federal list of candidate species potentially (C2) or clearly (C1) meriting listing. Common names in quotations are for recently described or recognized taxa (see Warren et al. 2000), or are proposed replacements for names presently used by the joint American Fisheries Society/American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists Common Names Committee. Sources of data: Deacon et al. (1979); Federal Register (1994, 1999a, 1999b); Miller (1972); Williams et al. (1989); Warren et al. (1997); Warren et al. (2000). Asterisk indicates year of ending interval from previous list(s) for newly described or nomenclaturally elevated taxa.
Family and Species/Status by Year
2000
1989
1979
1972
1994
1999a
1999b
Acipenseridae, Sturgeons: 6 species
Acipenser brevirostrum Shortnose Sturgeon
E
E
E
E
 
 
E
A. fulvescens Lake Sturgeon
T
T
T
T
C2
 
 
A. oxyrinchus desotoi Gulf Sturgeon
T
T
T
 
 
 
T
A. oxyrinchus oxyrinchus Atlantic Sturgeon
SC
SC
SC
 
 
 
 
Scaphirhynchus albus Pallid Sturgeon
E
E?
T
T
 
 
E
S. suttkusi "Alabama Sturgeon
E*
E
 
 
 
PE
 
Polyodontidae, Paddlefishes: 1 species
Polyodon spathula Paddlefish
SC
SC
 
 
C2
 
 
Lepisosteidae, Gars: 1 species
Atractosteus spatula Alligator Gar
SC
 
 
T
 
 
 
Clupeidae, Shads: 1 species
Alosa alabamae Alabama Shad
SC
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cyprinidae, Minnows: 44 species
linostomus funduloides ssp. "Smoky Dace
SC*
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cyprinella caerulea Blue Shiner
E?
T
T
 
 
 
T
C. callisema Ocmulgee Shiner
CS
 
 
 
C2
 
 
C. callitaenia Bluestripe Shiner
SC?
T
T
 
C2
 
 
C. monacha Spotfin Chub
T
T
T
T
 
 
T
C. xaenura Altamaha Shiner
SC
 
 
 
C2
 
 
Erimystax cahni Slender Chub
E?
T
T
T
 
 
T
E. harryi "Arkansas Chub
SC*
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hemitremia flammea Flame Chub
SC
SC
SC
T
C2
 
 
Hybognathus placitus Plains Minnow
CS
 
 
 
C2
 
 
Hybopsis amnis Pallid Shiner
SC
 
 
 
 
 
 
H. labrosa Thicklip Chub
CS?
 
SC
 
 
 
 
H. lineapunctata Lined Chub
SC
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lythrurus snelsoni Ouachita Shiner
SC
SC*
 
 
 
 
 
Machrybopsis gelida Sturgeon Chub
SC
 
 
T
C1
C1
 
M. meeki Sicklefin Chub
SC
 
 
T
C1
C1
 
M. sp. cf. aestivalis "Florida Chub
SC*
 
 
 
 
 
 
M. sp. cf. aestivalis "Fall Line Chub
SC*
 
 
 
 
 
 
Margariscus margarita Pearl Dace
SC
 
 
T
 
 
 
Notropis albizonatus "Palezone Shiner
E*?
T
 
 
 
 
E
N. ariommus Popeye Shiner
SC
 
 
T
 
 
 
N. bifrenatus Bridle Shiner
SC
 
 
T
 
 
 
N. cahabae Cahaba Shiner
E
E*
 
T
 
 
E
N. chalybeus Ironcolor Shiner
SC
 
 
 
 
 
 
N. girardi Arkansas River Shiner
T
 
 
 
 
 
T
N. hypsilepis Highscale Shiner
SC
 
 
 
C2
 
 
N. mekistocholas Cape Fear Shiner
E
 
 
T
 
 
E
N. melanostomus Blackmouth Shiner
T
T?
SC
 
C2
 
 
N. ortenburgeri Kiamichi Shiner
SC
 
 
 
 
 
 
N. orzarcanus Ozark Shiner
SC
 
 
 
C2
 
 
N. perpallidus Peppered Shiner
SC
 
 
T
 
 
 
N. rupestris Bedrock Shiner
SC
 
 
 
 
 
 
N. semperasper Roughhead Shiner
SC
 
 
T
C2
 
 
N. suttkusi "Rocky Shiner
SC*
 
 
 
 
 
 
Phenacobius teretulus Kanawha Minnow
CS?
SC?
T
T
C2
 
 
Phoxinus cumberlandensis Blackside Dace
T?
E?
T
 
 
 
T
P. tennesseensis Tennessee Dace
SC
SC
 
 
 
 
 
P. sp. cf. tennesseensis "Laurel Dace
E*
 
 
 
 
 
 
P. sp. cf. tennesseensis "Clinch Dace
SC*
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pimephales tennellus parviceps Eastern Slim Minnow
T
 
 
T
 
 
 
Platygobio gracilis gracilis Flathead Chub
SC
 
 
T
C2
 
 
Pteronotropis euryzonus Broadstripe Shiner
SC
 
 
 
C2
 
 
P. hubbsi Bluehead Shiner
SC
 
 
 
 
 
 
P. welaka Bluenose Shiner
SC
 
 
T
 
 
 
Semotilus lumbee Sandhills Chub
SC
SC
SC
 
 
 
 
Catostomidae, Suckers: 10 species (1 extinct)
Cycleptus elongatus Blue Sucker
SC
 
 
T
C2
 
 
C. meridonalis "Southeastern Blue Sucker
SC*
 
 
 
 
 
 
oxostoma sp. cf. erythrurum "Carolina Redhorse"
E*
 
 
 
 
 
 
M. lacerum Harelip Sucker
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
M. sp. cf. macrolepidotum "Sicklefin Redhorse"
T*
 
 
 
 
 
 
M. robustum "Robust Redhorse
E*
 
 
 
C2
 
 
M. valencienesi Greater Redhorse
XS?
 
 
T
C2
 
 
Scartomyzon ariommus Bigeye Jumprock
CS?
SC
 
T
 
 
 
Thoburnia atripinnis Blackfin Sucker
SC
 
 
 
 
 
 
T. hamiltoni Rustyside Sucker
SC
SC
SC
T
 
 
 
Ictaluridae, Bullhead Catfishes: 18 species
Ameiurus brunneus Snail Bullhead
SC
 
 
 
 
 
 
A. platycephalus Flat Bullhead
SC
 
 
 
 
 
 
A. serracanthus Spotted Bullhead
SC
 
 
 
 
 
 
Noturus baileyi Smoky Madtom
E
E
 
T
 
 
E
N. sp. cf. elegans 1 "Chucky Madtom
T*
 
 
 
C2
 
 
N. sp. cf. elegans 2 "Saddled Madtom
SC*
 
 
 
C2
 
 
N. flavater Checkered Madtom
SC
 
 
 
 
 
 
N. flavipinnis Yellowfin Madtom
E
T
T
T
 
 
T
N. furiosus Carolina Madtom
SC
SC
SC
 
 
 
 
N. insignis ssp. Spotted Madtom*
 
 
 
 
C2
 
 
N. gilberti Orangefin Madtom
T
T
T
T
C2
 
 
N. lachneri Ouachita Madtom
T
T
T
 
 
 
 
N. sp. cf. leptacanthus Broadtail Madtom
SC
SC
SC*
 
 
 
 
N. munitus Frecklebelly Madtom
T
T
T
T
 
 
 
N. sp. cf. munitus "Coosa Madtom
E*
 
 
 
 
 
 
N. placidus Neosho Madtom
T
T
T
T
 
 
T
N. stanauli Pygmy Madtom
E
E?
T*
 
 
 
E
N. stigmosus Northern Madtom
SC
SC
 
T
 
 
 
N. taylori Caddo Madtom
T
T
T
 
 
 
 
Percopsidae, Trout-Perches: 1 species
Percopsis omiscomaycus Common name??
SC
 
 
T
 
 
 
Amblyopsidae, Cavefishes: 3 species
Amblyopsis rosae Ozark Cavefish
T
T
T
T
 
 
T
A. spelaea Northern Cavefish
T
T
T
T
C2
 
 
Speoplatyrhinus poulsoni Alabama Cavefish
E
E?
T*
T
 
 
E
Atherinidae, Silversides: 1 species
Menidia extensa Waccamaw Silverside
T
T
T
T
 
 
T
Apocheilidae, Rivulins: 1 species
Rivulus marmoratus Common name??
SC
SC
 
 
 
 
 
Fundulidae, Topminnows: 5 species (1 extinct)
Fundulus albolineatus Whiteline Topminnow
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
F. bifax "Stippled Studfish
SC*
 
 
 
 
 
 
F. euryzonus Broadstripe Topminnow
SC*
 
 
 
 
 
 
F. julisia Barrens Topminnow
E?
SC*?
E
T
C2
 
 
F. waccamensis Waccamaw Killifish
T
T
T
T
C2
 
 
Cyprinodontidae, Pupfishes: 1 species
Cyprinodon variegatus hubbsi Lake Eustis Pupfish
SC
 
 
 
 
 
 
Elassomatidae, Pygmy Sunfishes: 3 species
Elassoma alabamae Alabama Pygmy Sunfish
E?
T?
E
 
C1
C1
 
E. boehlkei Carolina Pygmy Sunfish
SC
SC*
 
 
C2
 
 
E. okatie Bluebarred Pygmy Sunfish
SC
SC*
 
 
 
 
 
Cottidae, Sculpins: 4 species
Cottus paulus Pygmy Sculpin
T?
E
E
T
 
 
T
Cottus sp. cf. carolinae "Bluestone Sculpin
SC*
 
 
 
C2
 
 
Cottus sp. cf. bairdi "Clinch Sculpin
SC*
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cottus sp. cf. bairdi "Holston Sculpin
SC*
 
 
 
 
 
 
Centrarchidae, Sunfishes: 3 species
Ambloplites cavifrons Roanoke Bass
SC
SC
SC
 
 
 
 
Enneacanthus chaetodon Blackbanded Sunfish
SC
 
 
T
 
 
 
icropterus cataractae "Shoal Bass
SC*
SC
 
 
 
 
 
Percidae, Perches: 79 species
Ammocrypta clara Western Sand Darter
SC
 
 
T
 
 
 
A. pellucida Eastern Sand Darter
SC
SC?
T
T
C2
 
 
Crystallaria asprella Crystal Darter
SC
SC
SC
T
 
 
 
Etheostoma acuticeps Sharphead Darter
SC
SC?
T
T
 
 
 
E. aquali Coppercheek Darter
SC?
T
T
T
C2
 
 
E. baileyi Emerald Darter
CS?
 
SC
 
 
 
 
E. bellator "Warrior Darter
CS*?
SC
 
 
C2
 
 
E. sp. cf. bellator 1 "Sipsey Darter
SC*
 
 
 
C2
 
 
E. sp. cf. bellator 2 "Locust Fork Darter
T*
 
 
 
C2
 
 
E. blennioides gutselli "Tuckasegee Darter
SC*
 
 
 
 
 
 
E. blennius sequatchiense Sequatchie Darter
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
E. boschungi Slackwater Darter
T
T
T
T
 
 
 
E. brevirostrum (complex) "Holiday Darter"
T
SC
 
 
C2
 
 
E. chermocki. "Vermilion Darter"
E*
 
 
 
C2
 
 
E. chienense. "Relict Darter"
E*
 
 
 
E
 
 
E. chuckwachatte "Lipstick Darter"
SC*
 
 
 
 
 
 
E. cinereum Ashy darter
SC
SC
SC
"T"
C2
 
 
E. collis Carolina Darter
SC
 
 
 
 
 
 
E. corona "Crown Darter"
SC
 
 
 
C2
 
 
E. cragini Arkansas Darter
SC
SC
 
"T"
C1
C1
 
E. denoncourti "Golden Darter"
SC*
 
 
 
 
 
 
E. ditrema Coldwater Darter
T
T
 
"T"
C2
 
 
E. douglasi "Tuskaloosa Darter"
CS*
 
 
 
C2
 
 
E. etowhae "Etowah Darter"*
E
 
PT
E
 
 
 
E. forbesi "Barrens Darter"
T*
 
 
 
C2
 
 
E. kanawhae Kanawha Darter
CS?
SC?
T
 
 
 
 
E. luteovinctum Redband Darter
CS?
SC
SC
 
 
 
 
E. maculatum Spotted Darter
SC
SC
 
 
C2
 
 
E. mariae Pinewoods Darter
SC
SC
 
 
 
 
 
E. microlepidum Smallscale Darter
SC
 
 
 
 
 
 
E. moorei Yellowcheek Darter
T
T
T
"T"
 
 
 
E. neopterum Lollypop Darter
SC
 
 
 
 
 
 
E. nigrum susanae Cumberland Johnny Darter
T
T
 
 
C2
C1
 
E. nuchale Watercress Darter
E
E
E
E
 
E
 
E. okaloosae Okaloosa Darter
E?
T
T
"T"
 
E
 
E. olivaceum Sooty darter
SC
 
 
 
 
 
 
E. osburni "Candy Darter"
SC
SC
SC
 
C2
 
 
E. pallididorsum Paleback Darter
T
T
T
 
 
 
 
E. percnurum Duskyside Darter T
E?
T
T
 
E
 
 
E. perlongum Waccamaw Darter
T
 
T
"T"
 
 
 
E. phytophilium "Rush Darter"
E*
 
 
 
 
 
 
E. pseudovulatum "Egg-Mimic Darter"
T*
 
 
 
C2
 
 
E. punctulatum Stippled Darter
CS
 
 
"T"
 
 
 
E. pyrrhogaster Firebelly Darter
SC
SC*
SC
 
 
 
 
E. raneyi "Yazoo Darter"
SC?
 
T
 
 
 
 
E. rubrum Bayou Darter
E?
T
T
 
T
 
 
E. sagitta spilotum "Kentucky Arrow Darter"
SC*
 
 
 
 
 
 
E. scotti "Cherokee Darter"
E*
E
 
T
 
 
 
E. sp. cf. stigmaeum "Beaded Darter"
SC*
 
 
 
 
 
 
E. sp cf. stigmaeum "Bluemask Darter"
E*?
SC
SC
 
E
 
 
E. striatulum Striated Darter
T?
SC
 
 
C2
 
 
E. tecumsehi "Shawnee Darter"
T
 
 
 
 
 
 
E. tippecanoe Tippecanoe Darter
SC
 
 
"T"
 
 
 
E. trisella Trispot Darter
E?
T
T
 
C2
 
 
E. tuscumbia Tuscumbia Darter
SC?
T
T
"T"
C2
 
 
E. vulneratum Wounded Darter
SC
 
 
 
 
 
 
E. wapiti Boulder Darter
E?
T*
 
E
 
 
 
E. sp. cf. zonistium "Blueface Darter"
T*
 
 
 
 
 
 
Percinia antesella Amber Darter
E
E
E *
 
E
 
 
P. aurolineata Goldline Darter
T
T
"T"
 
T
 
 
P. aurora "Pearl Darter"
E*?
T
T
 
C2
 
 
P. austroperca "Southern Logperch"
SC*
 
 
 
 
 
 
P. brevicauda "Coal Darter"
T*
T
 
 
C2
 
 
P. burtoni Blotchside Logperch
SC
SC
 
"T"
 
 
 
P. cymatotaeina Bluestripe Darter
T?
SC
 
"T"
C2
 
 
P. jenkinsi Conasauga Logperch
E
E *
 
E
 
 
 
P. lenticula Freckled Darter
T
T
 
"T"
 
 
 
P. macrocephala Longhead Darter
T
T
 
"T"
C2
 
 
P. sp. cf. macrocephala 1 "Warrior Darter"
SC*?
T
T
 
C2
 
 
P. sp. cf. macrocephala 2 "Muscadine Darter"
SC*
 
 
 
 
 
 
P. sp. cf. macrocephala 3 "Kusha Darter"
SC*
 
 
"T"
 
 
 
P. nasuta Longnose Darter
T
T
 
"T"
 
 
 
P. sp. cf. nasuta "Ouachita Darter"
T*
 
 
"T"
 
 
 
P. sp. cf. nigrofasciata "Halloween Darter"
SC*
 
 
 
C2
 
 
P. pantherina Leopard Darter
T
T
"T"
 
T
 
 
P. rex Roanoke Logperch
E
E
"T"
 
E
 
 
P. squamata Olive Darter
SC
 
 
"T"
C2
 
 
P. tanasi Snail Darter
T
T?
E*
 
T
 
 
P. uranidea Stargazing Darter
SC
SC
 
"T"
C2
 
 
Mugilidae, mullets: 1 species
Agonostomus monticola Mountain Mullet
SC
 
 
 
 
 
 
* The Spotted Madtom (Noturus insignus) taxa may not be a distinct taxon (M. Kopeny, Personel Communication 1999)

 

APPENDIX II: Workshop Participants

WORKING GROUP

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Stanley Cook

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Brian Wagner
Allen Carter

Arkansas State University

George Harp

Conservation Fisheries, Inc.

J.R. Shute
Patrick Rakes

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Gray Bass
Theodore Hoehn
James Alan Huff

Eastern Kentucky University

Patrick Ceas

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Lee Emery

Geological Survey of Alabama

Maurice Mettee

Georgia Department of Natural Resources

James Music
Christoper Skelton

Georgia Power Company

Michael Nichols

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources

Lew Kornman
Timothy Slone

Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission

Ronald Cicerello

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

Bobby Reed

Mississippi Museum of Natural Science

Todd Slack

U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service

Carol Chandler

North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries

Fred Rohde

NorthCarolina Wildlife Resources Commission

James Borawa
John Alderman

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

Ross Self
Mark Collins

Southeast Aquatic Research Institute

George Benz

Tennessee Aquarium

Chris Coco

Tennessee Valley Authority

Peggy Shute
Charles Saylor

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

John Mayer
David Sims
Bob Hatcher

The Nature Conservancy

Allen Culp

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Rudy Nyc

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Anne Keller

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Dick Biggins
Vince Mudrak

U.S. Forest Service

Wendell Haag
Jim Nutt

U.S. Geological Survey

Mary Freeman
Cecil Jennings
Elise Irwin
Stephen Walsh
Noel Burkhead

University of Alabama

Bernard Kuhajda

University of Georgia

Bud Freeman

University of Southern Mississippi

Stephen Ross

University of Virginia

Mark Kopeny

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Michael Pinder

Winthrop University

William Rogers

World Wildlife Fund

Robin Abell
Wendy Smith

FACILITATORS

Group Solutions

Vern Herr
Bret Boston

OBSERVERS

National Wildlife Federation

Andrew Schock

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Sam Hamilton
Cindy Dohner
Gloria Bell *
Kelly Bibb *
Columbus Brown
Linda Andreason

* Primary organizers of workshop

INVITED PARTICIPANTS to the workshop who were unable to attend but are active and interested in the development of this strategy.

Louisiana State University

Fred Bryan
Bruce Thompson

Missouri Department of Conservation

Robert Hrabik

Southeast Missouri State University

Rex Strange

Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

Brooks Burr

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Peter Stangel

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Duncan Powell

U.S. Forest Service

Leigh Ann McDougal
Melvin Warren

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Published (print): 1999, Published (Web): January 2001, Revised (Web): November 2002
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