Salvelinus alpinus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Salmoniformes Salmonidae

Scientific Name: Salvelinus alpinus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Arctic Char, Arctic Charr, Charr
Taxonomic Notes: Anadromous, semi-anadromous, lacustrine, fluviatile-lacustrine and dwarf stocks are known, sometimes in sympatry. For most of them, detailed data are not available. Once available they are likely to show that several species are involved, whose identity is presently masked by unclear species definitions. If Alpine and northern European populations are considered conspecific as still asserted by numerous authors, then the name S. alpinus is not available for the present species but should be replaced by S. umbla, as required by the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature.

S. alpinus was previously included in the IUCN Red List (assessed as LR/lc in 1996); that species has since been split into 20 separate species (S. alpinus, S. colii, S. evasus, S. fimbriatus, S. gracillimus, S. grayi, S. inframundus, S. killinensis, S. lepechini, S. lonsdalii, S. mallochi, S. maxillaris, S. murta, S. obtusus, S. perisii, S. struanensis, S. thingvallensis, S. umbla, S. willoughbii, and S. youngeri).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Freyhof, J. & Kottelat, M.
Reviewer(s): Bogutskaya, N., & Smith, K. (IUCN Freshwater Biodiversity Unit)
A widespread species with no known major widespread threats. However, several populations have significantly declined.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Iceland, Scandinavia, northern Russia [absent in rivers draining to Baltic and White Seas] present in rivers of Barents Sea basin from Volonga to Kara, Jan Mayen, Spitzberg, Kolguev, Bear and New Zemblia islands, northern Siberia, Alaska, Canada and Greenland; 'real' S. alpinus might be restricted to Europe and Greenland. Despite its scientific name, does not occur in the Alps.
Countries occurrence:
Canada; Finland; Greenland; Iceland; Norway; Russian Federation; Saint Pierre and Miquelon; Svalbard and Jan Mayen; Sweden; United States
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Habitat:
Mainly lacustrine. Estuaries, rivers and lakes with cold, clear water. At sea, along coasts. Usually spawns on pebble to stone bottom in lakes. Riverine stocks spawn in rivers with slow current (0.2-0.8 m/s). Some riverine anadromous stocks in Norway spawn every year in fast-flowing waters of riffles.

In large lakes, sympatric with S. lepechini. Most stocks differ in details of mode of life, migration, growth, reproduction, food. The following information apply to the species as a whole but do not apply exactly to a particular stock, which normally would have much less variable characteristics. Stocks north of about 65°N are anadromous. Juveniles spend their first 1-9 years in freshwater then move to the sea where they spend the short Arctic summer, returning to overwinter in frozen lakes. Some authors report that there is apparently no strict homing and that marine-feeding individuals become more opportunistic with age as to the choice of the river and lake they return to; in other areas, they consider that there is a strict homing. At sea, they remain in coastal areas; the longest documented marine migration is 940 km. Landlocked populations migrate within river drainage or are sedentary, lacustrine. Dwarf stocks are known in some Finnish lakes and upper stretches of rivers, characterised by a very slow growth rate; mature adults reach only 300-350 mm SL and 250-300 g (2000-5000 g in partly sympatric 'normal' lacustrine stocks). Lives up to a maximum of 32 years (usually up to 15). Anadromous stocks spawn for the first time at 4-10 years, lacustrine ones at 2-5; all individuals spawn every 3-4 years. Anadromous stocks grow much faster than lacustrine and riverine ones. Usually spawns in October-December; some populations spawn in spring, summer or winter. Prefers pebbles where males build nests 2-3 m in diameter. Usually, males are territorial and may spawn with several females. After spawning, some stocks return to sea, others remain 1-3 years in lake before returning to sea. In freshwater, feeds on benthos, plankton and small fish. At sea, feeds mainly on fish; anadromous individuals feed little in freshwater and not at all during migrations.
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major threats known.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No information.

Citation: Freyhof, J. & Kottelat, M. 2008. Salvelinus alpinus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T19877A9102572. . Downloaded on 23 September 2018.
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