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Etheostoma akatulo

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII PERCIFORMES PERCIDAE

Scientific Name: Etheostoma akatulo
Species Authority: Layman and Mayden, 2009
Common Name(s):
English Bluemask Darter

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-12-02
Assessor(s): NatureServe
Reviewer(s): Smith, K. & Darwall, W.R.T.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Hammerson, G.A. & Ormes, M.
Justification:
This species is listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence is less than 1000 sq km, area of occupancy is less than 100 sq km, distribution is severely fragmented, the species occurs in not more than 5 locations, and the species is subject to ongoing declines in distribution, abundance and/or habitat quantity/quality.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Range includes the upper Caney Fork River System of the middle Cumberland River drainage, Tennessee (Page and Burr 2011); species is presently known from four tributaries of Great Falls Reservoir on the eastern Highland Rim (Layman and Mayden 2009). Collection sites include the Upper Caney Fork River, Collins River, Rocky River, Calfkiller River (apparently now extirpated), and Cane Creek, in Grundy, Warren, Van Buren, and White counties (Layman 1991). Recent sampling in the Barrens Fork River, Falling Water River, Charles Creek, Laurel Creek, Hickory Creek, Town Creek, and Mountain Creek yielded no specimens (Layman 1991).
Countries:
Native:
United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Historically, this species was known from five rivers; now known from four rivers (USFWS 1995, 1997; Layman and Mayden 2009). It was probably was formerly more widely distributed than available records indicate.

Total adult population size is unknown. This species is regarded as rare (Page and Burr 2011).
The trend over the past 10 years or three generations is uncertain but probably declining.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Habitat includes rocky pools, runs, and riffles of clear creeks and small rivers (Page and Burr 2011); this species typically occurs over sand and gravel substrates downstream of riffles, in moderate runs, or along margins of pools (Layman and Mayden 2009).

Habitat includes areas of slow to moderate current with sand and fine gravel substrates, at depths of 10-50 cm, typically just downstream of riffles or along the margins of pools and runs (Layman 1991, USFWS 1995). Lower free-flowing reaches of streams on the Highland Rim, which are characterized by moderate gradient, low to moderate productivity, and substrates of limestone or chert bedrock, coarse chert gravel, and sand (see USFWS 1995). Main stream width at three localities was 14 to 28 m; mean depth was 24 to 28 cm (USFWS 1995). The upper reaches of all four occupied streams flow underground in summer with little or no surface flow; this limits perennial habitat to the lower stream reaches (USFWS 1995). Spawning males were collected from the Collins River over sand and gravel in moderately flowing runs.

In the Collins River, spawning occurred in runs at mean water depths of 21.4 cm, bottom velocities of 18.9 cm/sec, and water column velocities of 28.9 cm/sec; substrate was dominated by gravel in areas occupied by lone males and spawning pairs, whereas most lone females were found over a sand-dominant substrate; spawning microhabitats differed from habitats used during the summer (Simmons and Layzer 2004).
Systems: Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Some areas were inundated by the Great Falls Reservoir in the 1910s. The habitat continues to be negatively affected by deterioration of water quality resulting from siltation, pesticides, and other pollutants contributed by coal mining, gravel mining, poor land use practices, and waste discharges (Layman and Mayden 2009). Spotty distribution in short river reaches makes the species vulnerable to local extirpation from accidental toxic chemical spills; natural recolonization of extirpated populations is greatly restricted or prevented by population fragmentation (resulting in part from impoundments).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Because much of the presumed historic habitat has been impounded or otherwise altered, it may not be possible to recover the species to the point of delisting (USFWS 1997).

Through augmentation or reintroduction, efforts should be made to establish and protect four viable populations; solicit the assistance of local landowners and initiate "Partners for Wildlife" projects to improve riparian habitat; and develop and utilize an information/education program (USFWS 1995, 1997).

Citation: NatureServe 2013. Etheostoma akatulo. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 01 August 2014.
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