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Scaphirhynchus suttkusi

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII ACIPENSERIFORMES ACIPENSERIDAE

Scientific Name: Scaphirhynchus suttkusi
Species Authority: Williams & Clemmer, 1991
Common Name(s):
English Alabama Sturgeon

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A4cde ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Assessor(s): Parauka, F.M. (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)
Reviewer(s): St. Pierre, R. & Pourkazemi, M. (Sturgeon Red List Authority)
Justification:
The Alabama sturgeon’s historic range once included 1,600 km of the Mobile River system in Alabama and Mississippi, however, it is believed that Alabama sturgeon currently occupy only about 216 km of the lower Alabama River. The decline of the Alabama sturgeon is believed due to over-fishing, the loss and fragmentation of habitat as a result of navigation-related development, and degradation of water quality.

Although the Endangered Species Act provides considerable protection of listed species the proposed classification recognizes that the population of Alabama sturgeon has seriously declined over the past three generations and may continue to decline into the future due to habitat alterations that may not be reversible.
History:
1996 Critically Endangered
1994 Endangered (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Endangered (IUCN 1990)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The Alabama sturgeon’s historic range once included 1,600 km of the Mobile River system in Alabama and Mississippi, however, it is believed that Alabama sturgeon currently occupy only about 216 km of the lower Alabama River below Robert F. Henry, Millers Ferry and Claiborne Locks and Dams, and the lower Cahaba River, Alabama.

For a more detailed description of this species’ range see the NatureServe Explorer database.
Countries:
Native:
United States (Alabama, Mississippi - Regionally Extinct)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There are no population estimates for the Alabama sturgeon however, intensive collection efforts by state and federal fishery biologists beginning in the spring of 1997 through the spring of 2001 resulted in the capture of only four Alabama sturgeon which further substantiates the rarity of the species. Efforts to induce spawning of the captive Alabama sturgeon held at the Marion State Hatchery, Alabama have so far been unsuccessful. Status of the population appears to be declining.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Freshwater.
Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The decline of the Alabama sturgeon is believed due to over-fishing, the loss and fragmentation of habitat as a result of navigation-related development, and degradation of water quality.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Alabama sturgeon was listed as endangered in 2000 under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA). The decision was based on the species apparent inability to sustain a viable population.

State and federal agencies and the private sector formalized a Conservation Agreement and Strategy for Alabama Sturgeon (2000) that originated as a informal voluntary plan for the conservation and enhancement of the Alabama sturgeon and its habitat. The goals of the conservation effort are to increase the numbers of Alabama sturgeon through a captive breeding program and release of propagated fish, genetic conservation, protect existing habitat quantity and quality, develop information on life history and habitat needs, and use this information to develop and implement conservation and adaptive management strategies for the species and its habitat.

It is listed on CITES Appendix II.

Citation: Parauka, F.M. (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service) 2004. Scaphirhynchus suttkusi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 16 September 2014.
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