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Etheostoma brevirostrum

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII PERCIFORMES PERCIDAE

Scientific Name: Etheostoma brevirostrum
Species Authority: Suttkus & Etnier, 1991
Common Name(s):
English Holiday Darter

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(ii,iii,iv,v); C1 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-12-07
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 Vulnerable because the number of mature individuals may be fewer than 10,000 and population size may decline by at least 10% within 10 years or three generations. Also, extent of occurrence is less than 5,000 sq km, area of occupancy may be less than 500 sq km, and the number of locations may be not many more than 10.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Range includes the upper Coosa River system in Alabama, Georgia, and southeastern Tennessee (Page and Burr 2011); Shoal Creek and unnamed spring distributaries to Choccolocco Creek in Alabama; upper Conasauga River in northern Georgia and southern Tennessee; Coosawattee River and Etowah systems in northern Georgia (Suttkus and Etnier 1991, Boschung and Mayden 2004). The Conasauga River range extends from Murray County, Georgia, to Polk County, Tennessee (Johnston and Damon 1996). The species is possibly eliminated from the Calhoun County, Alabama, section of Shoal Creek due to impoundments (Whitesides Mill Lake and Highrock Lake) (Suttkus and Etnier 1991). It has been eliminated from Choccolocco Creek (Noel Burkhead pers. comm. 1998).
Countries:
Native:
United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species was described relatively recently, and it is difficult to survey and identify, so information on distribution and abundance is incomplete. As of the early 1990s, it was known from four stream systems in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee (Suttkus and Etnier 1991). Mettee et al. (1996) mapped three collection locations in Alabama and 14 collection sites in Georgia. Boschung and Mayden mapped 5 collection sites in Alabama. The Tennessee Valley Authority Natural Heritage Program has recorded at least 15 occurrences in Georgia and Tennessee. In the late 1990s, the estimated condition of the Georgia and Tennessee occurrences is 70% excellent, 10% good, and 20% fair.

Abundance information is currently spotty and incomplete. The species is uncommon in its limited range in the Coosa River system in Alabama (Boschung and Mayden 2004), and rare in the upper Coosa in Tennessee (Etnier and Starnes 1993) and Georgia. Etnier and Starnes (1993) stated that this species is uncommon and represented by few specimens in curated collections. However, snorkelling observation at four locations in the Conasauga River during 1995, produced counts of 0, 2, 10, and 11–57 individuals. Additional counts made during 1996 at the same sites resulted in 1, 15–36, 3–13, and 4–10 individuals, respectively (Johnston and Damon 1996). Dolloff et al. (1997) estimated densities ranging from 1.2–32.5 individuals at seven sites in the Conasauga River and 1.7–37.2 individuals from 12 sites on the Jacks River. Warren (pers. comm. 1998) stated that the Shoal Creek population probably has fewer than 1,000 individuals and occurs in less than 16 kilometres of stream.

Trend over the past 10 years or three generations is uncertain. Trends appear to be highly variable or unknown with some populations declining or possibly extirpated and others possibly stable. In Alabama, the species is apparently stable in the upper Shoal Creek drainage but believed to be eliminated from lower Shoal Creek and Choccolocco Creek (Noel Burkhead pers. comm. 1998, Mettee et al. 1996). At four sites surveyed in 1995-1996 in the Conasauga River, one population declined and three populations were stable (Johnston and Damon 1996).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Habitat includes rocky runs and pools, sometimes riffles, of cool to warm creeks and small to medium rivers (Page and Burr 2011). Water usually is clear, with moderate to fast current; rooted macrophytes may or may not be present (Suttkus and Etnier 1991). This species has been reported from three large springs in the Choccolocco Creek system (Sizemore and Howell 1990) (also described as small, spring-fed distributaries; Boschung and Mayden 2004).
Systems: Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Threats include sedimentation from logging and road building by the timber industry, impoundments, and any activities affecting riparian cover (Noel Burkhead and Melvin Warren pers. comm. 1998). As of the late 1990s, the species was believed to be moderately threatened in Alabama and within the Tennessee Valley Authority range (Jim Godwin and Peggy Shute pers. comm. 1998). Populations in the lower Shoal Creek drainage, Alabama, may have been extirpated due to development of small water-control impoundments (Mettee et al. 1996; see also Boschung and Mayden 2004, who stated that Whitesides Mill Reservoir destroyed prime habitat). Populations in the upper Shoal Creek system in Alabama have some degree of protection since they occur in the Talladega National Forest.

Warren et al. (2000) categorized this species as "threatened," whereas Jelks et al. (2008) did not assign the species to a category but categorized each of 5 recognized populations (Amicalola Creek [Etowah River tributary], Etowah River mainstem, Conasauga River, Coosawattee River, and Shoal Creek) as "endangered."

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Better information on abundance and trend is needed.

Citation: NatureServe 2013. Etheostoma brevirostrum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 25 October 2014.
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