Map_thumbnail_large_font

Scaphirhynchus albus

Status_ne_offStatus_dd_offStatus_lc_offStatus_nt_offStatus_vu_offStatus_en_onStatus_cr_offStatus_ew_offStatus_ex_off

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII ACIPENSERIFORMES ACIPENSERIDAE

Scientific Name: Scaphirhynchus albus
Species Authority: (Forbes & Richardson, 1905)
Common Name(s):
English Pallid Sturgeon
Synonym(s):
Parascaphirhynchus albus Forbes & Richardson, 1905

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A4ce ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Assessor(s): Krentz, S. (Missouri River Fish & Wildlife Management Assistance)
Reviewer(s): St. Pierre, R. & Pourkazemi, M. (Sturgeon Red List Authority)
Justification:
Perhaps as many as 2,750 to 4,100 pallid sturgeon remain in the Atchafalaya River in Louisiana. However, for the greatest part of the contiguous range, the lower Missouri River below Gavins Point Dam, downstream to the Mississippi River and downstream to the Gulf of Mexico, no estimates are available. The best estimate, at present, of the total population of pallid sturgeon is that as few as 6,000 to as many as 21,000 may still exist throughout the entire range of this species (Duffy et al. 1996).

Habitat modification, including the construction of six main stem dams on the Missouri River and extensive channelisation in the lower Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, is the primary factor affecting the continued existence of this species. This species is known to hybridize with the closely related and more abundant shovelnose sturgeon (S. platorynchus) where their ranges overlap.

The pallid sturgeon continues to face a very high risk of extinction in the wild. Status of the population is based on category EN A4ce where we have an inferred or suspected population size reduction of at least 50% over any three generation period (estimated as 30–40 years), where the time period includes both the past and the future AND where the reduction or its causes may not have ceased OR may not be understood OR may not be reversible, based on a decline in area of occupancy, extent of occurrence and quality of habitat, and, the effects of introduced taxa, hybridization, pathogens, pollutants, competitors or parasites.
History:
1996 Endangered
1994 Endangered (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Endangered (IUCN 1990)
1988 Endangered (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Endangered (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The total length of the species’ range is approximately 5,656 km (3,515 miles) of river. Current trends of pallid sturgeon populations are variable from decreasing in the upper part of the range to stable in the lower part of their range. In the large middle portion of their range, population status is unknown.

For more information see NatureServe’s Explorer database.
Countries:
Native:
United States (Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Estimates of mature individuals in the population have been calculated for segments of the range. Pallid sturgeon populations in the Missouri River are limited to isolated free flowing reaches. In Montana above Fort Peck Dam, tag recapture data have allowed researchers to estimate that 50 to 100 mature pallid sturgeon remain. In the Missouri River between Fort Peck Dam and Lake Sakakawea and lower Yellowstone River, estimates of the current population ranges from 200 to 300 adult fish. Based on tag returns and telemetry studies, perhaps as many as 2,750 to 4,100 pallid sturgeon remain in the Atchafalaya River in Louisiana. However, for the greatest part of the contiguous range, the lower Missouri River below Gavins Point Dam, downstream to the Mississippi River and downstream to the Gulf of Mexico, no estimates are available. The best estimate, at present, of the total population of pallid sturgeon is that as few as 6,000 to as many as 21,000 may still exist throughout the entire range of this species (Duffy et al. 1996).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Restricted to freshwater.
Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat modification, including the construction of six main stem dams on the Missouri River and extensive channelisation in the lower Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, is the primary factor affecting the continued existence of this species. This species is known to hybridize with the closely related and more abundant shovelnose sturgeon (S. platorynchus) where their ranges overlap. Continued application of existing U. S. laws (e.g., Clean Water Act, Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, Endangered Species Act, etc.) should result in improved sturgeon breeding and nursery habitats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The pallid sturgeon was listed as Endangered under the Endangered Species Act in 1990. At that time, very few details were available on the life history and behavior of this species. However, limited information was available on abundance, distribution and existing status of the population. Since that time, considerable work has been accomplished to identify occupied habitats, to determine the existing status of this species and to gain a better understanding of the habitat needs and behavior. The Pallid Sturgeon Recovery Plan (1993) outlines identified recovery actions to improve conditions for this species and promote recovery of the existing populations.
It is listed on CITES Appendix II.

Citation: Krentz, S. (Missouri River Fish & Wildlife Management Assistance) 2004. Scaphirhynchus albus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 26 October 2014.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please fill in the feedback form so that we can correct or extend the information provided