Noturus stanauli 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Siluriformes Ictaluridae

Scientific Name: Noturus stanauli Etnier & Jenkins, 1980
Common Name(s):
English Pygmy Madtom
Taxonomic Source(s): Etnier, D.A. and Jenkins, R.E. 1980. Noturus stanauli, a new madtom catfish (Ictaluridae) from the Clinch and Duck rivers, Tennessee. Bulletin of the Alabama Museum of Natural History 5: 17-22.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2012-03-05
Assessor(s): NatureServe
Reviewer(s): Smith, K. & Darwall, W.R.T.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Hammerson, G.A. & Ormes, M.
This species is listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence is less than 5,000 sq km, area of occupancy is less than 500 sq km, number of locations is two, and habitat is subject to ongoing declines in quality. Current population size and trend are unknown.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Pygmy Madtom occurs in the Tennessee River drainage, Tennessee (Page and Burr 1991, USFWS 1993). It has been found, and still exists, in only two short reaches of the Duck and Clinch rivers. These river reaches are about 600 river miles apart and separated by impoundments. No historical records exist for the reintroduction (nonessential experimental population; NEP) sites in the lower French Broad River or lower Holston Rivers, but historically the species was probably more widespread in the Tennessee River system and probably inhabited these waters (USFWS 2007).

The geographic boundaries of the NEP would extend from the base of Douglas Dam down the French Broad River, Knox and Sevier counties, Tennessee, to its confluence with the Holston River and then up the Holston River, Knox, Grainger, and Jefferson counties, Tennessee, to the base of Cherokee Dam and would include the lower eight kilometres of all tributaries that enter these river reaches (USFWS 2007).
Countries occurrence:
United States
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Despite many thorough fish collections throughout the Tennessee River drainage, the species has been recorded from a total of only four discrete shoal localities in two rivers; distribution at these sites is very localized and densities are low.

Total adult population size is unknown but probably quite small (USFWS 2009). Observations or collections of this species are extremely difficult, and few records exist, despite numerous surveys at the two known sites and other nearby locations. At one annually surveyed site in the Clinch River, Pygmy Madtoms are only periodically collected; in the Duck River, a recent collection was the first in nearly 20 years (Shute and Biggins 1995). At the Clinch River site, which contains the best known population of pygmy madtoms, a total of 45 individuals were collected in (at least) annual fish surveys at this site between 1974 and 1996. However, individual catches have been extremely variable, and have ranged from one to 16 individuals; some surveys at this site yielded no Pygmy Madtoms (TVA Heritage Project data).

Probably this species has experienced a large decline, but the degree of decline is poorly known due to insufficient data.

Current trend is unknown. Since the species was listed as endangered in 1993, very few specimens have been found (USFWS 2009).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Habitat includes clear, moderate to large rivers, where the species has been collected on shallow pea-size gravel or fine sand shoals with moderate to strong current (USFWS 1993, 1994). Many occur in flowing portions of pools during the reproductive season (Dinkins and Shute 1993). Eggs are laid probably under slab rocks, in empty mussel shells, or in similar situations.
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Threats in the Clinch River include general deterioration of water quality from siltation and other pollutants associated with poor land use practices and waste discharges; potential threats include increased urbanization, coal mining, poorly managed agricultural practices, and impoundments (USFWS 1993, 1994). In Duck River historical collection sites, this species is seriously threatened by stream-bank erosion (USFWS 1993, 1994).

Habitat and water quality degradation remain the greatest threats to the madtom. The species remains highly vulnerable to extinction from stochastic events. None of the threats affecting the Pygmy Madtom have been eliminated since the fish was listed (USFWS 2009).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Actions needed (USFWS 1994):
  1. Utilize existing legislation/regulations to protect the species.
  2. Search for new populations.
  3. Monitor existing populations.
  4. Develop and utilize an information/education program.
  5. Determine life history requirements.
  6. Determine threats and alleviate those which threaten the species' existence.
  7. Through augmentation or reintroduction, protect and establish two viable populations.
All existing State and Federal legislation and regulations must be enforced. Pygmy Madtom research needs include: life history information (spawning season and behaviour, habitat requirements, age and growth, and food habits); propagation and reintroduction techniques; and habitat improvement techniques. Management needs include: reestablishing and augmenting existing populations; promoting the safe use of pesticides by local farmers, enforcing existing Federal and State laws relating to water quality, and monitoring the status of the two populations. Additionally, management is needed to restore some of the species habitat through repair of riparian habitat and control of nonpoint source pollution. [Source: Endangered and Threatened Species of the Southeastern United States (The Red Book) FWS Region 4. As of 1/96]

Citation: NatureServe. 2013. Noturus stanauli. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T14906A19032599. . Downloaded on 25 May 2018.
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