Percina antesella 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Percidae

Scientific Name: Percina antesella Williams & Etnier, 1977
Common Name(s):
English Amber Darter
Taxonomic Source(s): Williams, J.D. and Etnier, D.A. 1977. Percina (Imostoma) antesella, a new percid fish from the Coosa River system in Tennessee and Georgia. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 90(1): 6-18.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2012-04-10
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 occurrences is less than 5,000 sq km, area of occupancy is probably less than 500 sq km, number of locations can be regarded as not more than five, and habitat quality and perhaps population size are subject to ongoing declines.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Range includes the Conasauga, Coosawattee, and Etowah rivers (Coosa River system), northwestern Georgia and extreme southeastern Tennessee (Page and Burr 2011): mainstem Etowah River upstream of Allatoona Reservoir (from near the mouth of Amicalola Creek downstream to Canton, Georgia), the lower portion of Sharp Mountain Creek (a tributary to the Etowah River in Cherokee County, the lower portion of Shoal Creek (above the area influenced by the Allatoona Reservoir; an approximately 55 km reach of the Conasauga River, from the vicinity of the U.S. 411 bridge in Polk County, Tennessee, to the vicinity of Browns Bridge Road outside of Dalton, Georgia (Murray and Whitfield counties); and the Coosawattee River, downstream of Carter's Lake Reservoir (single specimen collected in 2010) (Freeman et al. 2010).
Countries occurrence:
United States
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species only occurs in small sections of two rivers, only one of which supports a healthy population.

Total adult population size is unknown but relatively small. Based on snorkelling and seining observations in the 1980s and 1990s, Freeman (1991, 1995) reported that amber darters persist in low population densities in the Conasauga River. Freeman et al. (2010) noted the relatively low abundance of this species.

Freeman and Freeman (1994) implied that population sizes are apparently variable.

Annual surveys over the last decade suggest a small but stable population in the Etowah River, while total abundance may be declining in the Conasauga River; current status of the population in Shoal Creek, which is isolated from the larger Etowah River population by Allatoona Reservoir, is not known (Freeman et al. 2010).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:In Tennessee, this species is restricted to the main channel of the Conasauga River, where it occurs in flowing pools and deeper runs with clean substrates of sand and fine gravel with scattered boulders (Etnier and Starnes 1993). It has been found associated with vegetation in riffle areas in midsummer. Usually it is in cool, clear water up to 60 cm deep (usually 29–49 cm), with moderate to swift current (averaging around 7–27 cm/sec at substrate); it occurs in only a small percentage of shoals with these characteristics (Lee et al. 1980; 1990 End. Sp. Tech. Bull. 15[2]:5). The species is limited upstream from occupied sites probably by excessive stream gradient, downstream by heavy siltation (Matthews and Moseley 1990) and reservoir. Spawning occurs probably in swift gravel shoal areas (Etnier and Starnes 1993). Larvae may inhabit different areas and may even drift with the current (Freeman and Freeman 1994).
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Amber Darters are vulnerable to loss of quality habitat resulting from suburban and urban development in the Etowah watershed and parts of the Conasauga watershed, where the human population is rapidly increasing. In the upper Conasauga system, non-point source pollution from agricultural lands may be significant. Stream degradation results runoff from forestry and agricultural areas, residential and commercial development, and road construction, and from increased stormwater runoff from impervious areas. Water-supply reservoirs could significantly alter water flow and thermal regimes in main channel riffles that provide habitat for amber darters. Potential point sources of contaminants include landfills adjacent to the Etowah River in Forsyth and Cherokee counties. Source: Freeman et al. (2010).

Gravel mining is a localized threat.

Restricted range makes the species particularly vulnerable to a single catastrophic event (e.g., chemical spill on bridge).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Research life history and reproductive biology. Monitor existing populations.

Citation: NatureServe. 2013. Percina antesella. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T16585A19034039. . Downloaded on 23 September 2018.
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