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Palaemonias alabamae

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA ARTHROPODA MALACOSTRACA DECAPODA ATYIDAE

Scientific Name: Palaemonias alabamae
Species Authority: Smalley, 1961
Common Name(s):
English Alabama Cave Shrimp

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2012-07-09
Assessor(s): De Grave, S. & Rogers, C.
Reviewer(s): Cumberlidge, N. & Smith, K.
Justification:
The species is historically known from four cave systems in Alabama, USA: Shelta Cave (type locality) within urban Huntsville, Bobcat Cave (12.9 km to the southwest), the extensive Herring-Glover system (and the connected Brazelton Cave, 19.3 km south of Huntsville) and Muddy Cave (14 km south of Huntsville).  The population in Shelta Cave no longer exists (Cooper and Cooper 2011) with the last recorded sighting of the species in that cave in November 1973. The cave systems are threatened by groundwater extraction due to increased demands. Habitat degradation has occurred in Shelta Cave, with the water being contaminated by cadmium and other chemicals. Further potential sources of groundwater contamination are increasing urbanization (with potential sewage pollution for seepage fields), whilst large chicken farms are present in the Herring-Glover recharge area, with potential discharge of manure (Anon. 2006). Anon (2006) also contains a personal communication from a caver, stating that one of the caves in which the species occurs (Brazelton) was severely organically polluted and in Herring Cave, excessive siltation of the water was noted. The exact EOO of the species is not known, but based on the distances between the three caves it occurs in, is certainly less than 100 km2. As however, it is not thought the three cave systems are connected, the species remains known from three locations, making it Endangered under criteria B1ab(iii).
History:
1996 Endangered
1994 Endangered (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Indeterminate (IUCN 1990)
1988 Indeterminate (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Indeterminate (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The species is historically known from four cave systems in Alabama: Shelta Cave (type locality), Bobcat Cave, the extensive Herring-Glover system (and the connected Brazelton cave) and Muddy Cave. The population in Shelta Cave no longer exists (Cooper and Cooper 2011) with the last recorded sighting of the species in that cave in November 1973.
Countries:
Native:
United States (Alabama)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: No information is available on population trends, but very few individuals have been observed in each cave system in which it currently occurs. Cooper & Cooper (2011) demonstrate that plentiful shrimps were present in 1963-1966 in Shelta cave, but the population rapidly declined down to 2 individuals in 1973.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The species inhabits subterranean water.
Systems: Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is not utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The cave systems are threatened by groundwater extraction due to increased demands. Habitat degradation has occurred in Shelta Cave, with the water being contaminated by cadmium and other chemicals. Further potential sources of groundwater contamination are increasing urbanization (with potential sewage pollution for seepage fields), whilst large chicken farms are present in the Herring-Glover recharge area, with potential discharge of manure (Anon. 2006). Anon. (2006) also contains a personal communication from a caver, stating that one of the caves in which the species occurs (Brazelton) was severely polluted and in Herring Cave, excessive siltation of the water was noted.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Shelta Cave is a nature reserve owned by the National Speleological Society, whilst Bobcat Cave is owned by the US Army. The other caves are located on private property.

Citation: De Grave, S. & Rogers, C. 2013. Palaemonias alabamae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 October 2014.
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