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Lepidomeda albivallis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII CYPRINIFORMES CYPRINIDAE

Scientific Name: Lepidomeda albivallis
Species Authority: Miller & Hubbs, 1960
Common Name(s):
English White River Spinedace

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2012-02-24
Assessor(s): NatureServe
Reviewer(s): Smith, K. & Darwall, W.R.T.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Hammerson, G.A. & Ormes, M.
Justification:
Listed as Critically Endangered because extent of occurrence is less than 100 sq km, area of occupancy is less than 10 sq km, number of locations is 1, and habitat is vulnerable to continuing decline in quantity and quality.
History:
1996 Critically Endangered
1994 Endangered (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Endangered (IUCN 1990)
1988 Endangered (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Endangered (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Historical range included the White River just below the mouth of Ellison Creek, Preston Big Spring, Nicholas Spring, Lund Spring, Arnoldson Spring, Flag Spring, Cold Spring, Indian Spring, and as far south as the White River 15 kilometres downstream from Flag Springs (USFWS 1994). Subsequently it has become highly localized within a small area. The White River Spinedace now occurs in the Flag Springs complex (consisting of three springs originating within 300 meters of each other) within the Kirch Wildlife Management Area; the three springs all flow into Sunnyside Creek. As of 2006, spinedace were able to move freely between each spring and their associated outflows and downstream into Sunnyside Creek (USFWS 2010). As of 2007, a refugium population (Indian Spring) was being established on private land in northern White River Valley, but the results of the reintroduction were yet to be determined (USFWS, Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office).
Countries:
Native:
United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is represented by only one occurrence.

As of 2007, approximately 2,500 individuals inhabited the Flag Springs complex (USFWS, Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office). The population exhibits considerable, rapid, and frequent fluctuations (less than 1,000 to almost 3,000 in recent years) (USFWS 2010).

The carrying capacity of Indian Spring (a refugium population) is expected to be approximately 200-300 individuals, based on similar sized habitats occupied by this species (Scoppettone pers. comm. to USFWS March 2003). This population is no longer considered viable due to lack of documented reproduction (USFWS 2010).

At the time of listing (1985), the last remaining populations were restricted to small remnants of historical habitats at Lund and Flag springs, representing less than 3 percent of the species' historical range (USFWS 1994). By the early 1990s, the Lund Spring population had been extirpated and there were only a few dozen individuals inhabiting a single 70-meter stream reach, with no obvious indication of recent recruitment (Scoppettone et al. 1992, USFWS 1994). After non-native fishes were eradicated in 1995 and spinedace were relocated downstream to lower Flag Spring (Scoppettone et al. 2004), the population rebounded to over 1,000 individuals (USFWS, Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office). The population subsequently fluctuated between 800 to 1,500 individuals, and by 2003 approximately 1,000 White River Spinedace inhabited the Flag Springs complex (Nevada Division of Wildlife March 2003 unpublished data). USFWS (Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office website, last updated in 2007), reported the population size as approximately 2,500 individuals inhabiting the Flag Springs complex.

Extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, and population size have increased over the past 10 years (e.g., Scoppettone et al. 2004, USFWS 2010).
Population Trend: Increasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species occurs in one cool, clear spring and its overflow, over sand and gravel substrate with some interspersed mud. It seems to prefer shallow areas (0.5-1.5 meters deep) (Lee et al. 1980). Scoppettone et al. (2004) found that White River Spinedace in streams orient near the bottom but frequently move up in the water column to strike at drift items. Larvae occurred near the surface and in much shallower and slower water than that used by adults and juveniles. Flag Springs has swift to moderate flow. The most common aquatic plants in the habitat are watercress, pondweed, rush, and cattail. Surrounding vegetation is needed for shade and as habitat for insects upon which the spinedace feeds (Matthews and Moseley 1990).
Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Major threats to this species include competition with/predation by non-native fishes (e.g., Rainbow Trout, Largemouth Bass) and alteration of habitat associated with the use of springs for irrigation purposes (e.g., converting natural spring and marsh complexes into impoundments and canals and development of underground irrigation pipelines) (USFWS, Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office).

Maintenance of self-sustaining populations of White River Spinedace within designated critical habitat will require considerable effort because Preston Big Spring and Lund Spring have been severely modified, and the water rights and land are in private ownership.

Because of continued restrictions on restoring two critical habitats located on private lands, the species' distribution remains limited and it continues to have a high degree of threats and existing conflicts to recovery (USFWS 2010).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation measures that are needed include: (1) secure, enhance, and maintain the population at Flag Springs and (2) reestablish and maintain populations in Preston Big Spring and Lund Spring (USFWS 1994).

Citation: NatureServe 2014. Lepidomeda albivallis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 18 December 2014.
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