Notropis anogenus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Notropis anogenus
Species Authority: Forbes, 1885
Common Name(s):
English Pugnose Shiner

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2010-06-07
Assessor(s): NatureServe (G. Hammerson)
Reviewer(s): Gilbert, C., Carlson, D.M. (Freshwater Fish Red List Authority), Collen, B., Dewhurst, N. & Ram, M. (Sampled Red List Index Coordinating Team)
Notropis anogenus has been assessed as Near Threatened due to an inferred 25% population decline as a result of habitat degradation. Further research and monitoring of the habitat status, population numbers, and potential threat processes of this species is needed to ensure a threat category is not triggered in the future.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

Notropis anogenus has a disjunct distribution almost entirely confined to the Great Lakes region, primarily Wisconsin, Michigan (Becker 1983), Minnesota, and northeastern Illinois. There are still reports of a few other extant populations within other states; 1 in Iowa, 5 in New York, and a few in Ontario. It is thought that this species has been extirpated from North Dakota.

The original range of this species extended from  north central New York and eastern Ontario, west to southeastern North Dakota, south to northern Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, northern Indiana, and northern Ohio. Despite this large range, its localities within certain states was largely peripheral as seen in Illinois, Iowa, North Dakota, Indiana, Ohio, New York, and Ontario (Smith 1979, Lee et al. 1980, Trautman 1981, Smith 1985). The range indicates that this species had a glacial refuge in the upper Mississippi basin (Bailey 1959), as well as the Red River drainage of Minnesota, the Lake Superior and Lake Michigan basins, and the lower Great Lakes, including Ontario, to the head of the St. Lawrence River. Bailey (1959) reported a single verified location in each of the Missouri and the Ohio basins. The northernmost populations are in Ontario. The only records in Ohio were from western Lake Erie, and none have been found in the state since 1931 (Trautman 1981). The area in which this species is distributed is approximately 138,472 km2.

Canada; United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Notropis anogenus is represented by records from 50+ locations over a wide range, in the last 25 years. About 40 such occurrences were documented in states and provinces other than Minnesota. Minnesota is thought to have more occurrences than any other state (Phillips et al. 1982). Becker (1983) mapped about 35 collection sites in Wisconsin.

Total population size is unknown. This fish is generally rare (Lee et al. 1980; Smith 1979). Phillips et al. (1982) noted that even with intense sampling effort, only a few specimens will be collected. However, Wisconsin records indicate several sites with collections of 30-80 individuals in some years, and Becker (1983) stated that the species may be locally abundant in Wisconsin. This species is rare in Minnesota (Moyle 1975), a core part of the range. The habitat is difficult to sample effectively, so available information may underestimate abundance.

Bailey (1959:121) indicated that the species was "becoming rare in areas where it was formerly common" and that it remained most common in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Page and Burr (1991:158) reiterated Bailey's evaluation: "rare and becoming even less common over most of its range," but it was not clear whether or not this statement was based on new data.

In Canada, a population trend has not been documented, though Scott and Crossman (1973) noted a decrease in the (historically small) range. According to Parker et al. (1987), this species has never been found in large numbers in Canada, and therefore the current low population is not enough reason to consider this species endangered or threatened. Genetic distinctiveness has been investigated in Ontario and New  York (McCusker unpublished).

The range in Michigan appears to have become more restricted. In recent decades, the species has been found in only seven of the 18 watersheds from which it was historically recorded (Derosier 2004). Latta (2005) in 1995-98 collected the species at only one of 31 sites where it had occurred in the past. However, in 1994 and 1997, he found the species at two new sites. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (2005) recommended the species be classified as endangered.

Howell (pers. comm. 1993) reported declines in Iowa. The species may be extirpated from North Dakota; none have been collected there since the 1960's, despite intensive inventory of historic sites and similar habitat in 1982 and 1991. Remaining Illinois populations occur in three lakes; historically this species was known from a few other glacial lakes in the state (Smith 1979; Karnes pers. comm. 1993).  Three are two areas of New York where the species is still present while it appears to be longer present from a third (Carlson 2001).

This species has not been monitored sufficiently to clarify recent range-wide population trends, but ongoing declines seem likely.

N. anogenus is a naturally rare for reasons which have never been fully understood (C.R. Gilbert 2007 pers. comm.).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Notropis anogenus can exclusively be found in clear, heavily vegetated glacial lakes and vegetated pools and runs of low gradient creeks and rivers. Typical substrate types include sand, mud, marl, and gravel. During the summer months, this species can be found in shallow waters, and during the winter months they move to deeper waters (Smith 1979, Lee et al. 1980, Trautman 1981, Becker 1983, Smith 1985, Page and Burr 1991).

This species is associated with two, smaller cyprinid species, the Blackchin Shiner (Notropis heterodon), and the Blacknose shiner (Notropis heterolepis). The Blackchin Shiner is said to have nearly the same distribution as that of N. anogenus, while the Blacknose Shiner has a far greater range than the other two species.
Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Declines in the population of Notropis anogenus have been attributed to increased turbidity and loss of aquatic vegetation (Herkert 1992). This loss of habitat quality is in part due to siltation, pollution, boating associated with tourism, and land use change. In North Dakota, agricultural activities have resulted in moderate to high stream turbidity (Peterka 1992). Increased turbidity has been suggested as the primary cause of the decline (Smith 1979, Trautman 1981, Parker et al. 1987). Introduction of whole-lake treatment with herbicides has also been suggested as another cause of population decline.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for Notropis anogenus. Future conservation and management efforts would best be directed towards determining a minimum viable population, protecting spawning habitats, and water turbidity management schemes. Further research should also be directed into the impact of aquatic vegetation management, and the interaction between competitors and predators.

Citation: NatureServe (G. Hammerson) 2010. Notropis anogenus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <>. Downloaded on 21 October 2014.
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