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Etheostoma forbesi

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII PERCIFORMES PERCIDAE

Scientific Name: Etheostoma forbesi
Species Authority: Page & Ceas, 1992
Common Name/s:
English Barrens Darter

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-12-12
Assessor/s: NatureServe
Reviewer/s: Smith, K. & Darwall, W.R.T.
Facilitator/s: Hammerson, G.A. & Ormes, M.
Justification:
This species is listed as Vulnerable because area of occupancy is less than 10 sq km. Extent of occurrence is approximately 100 sq km. Trend is possibly stable. Population size is unknown but probably relatively small. Number of locations may be fewer than 10.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species' range is restricted to a few tributaries of the Barren Fork system and the lower Collins River (Caney Fork system), in Cannon, Coffee, and Warren counties, Tennessee (Page et al. 1992, Etnier and Starnes 1993, Page and Burr 2011). This darter formerly may have occurred in the adjacent upper Duck River system. Specimens that are hybrids between Etheostoma forbesi and E. nigripinne have been found in the Duck River system (Page et al. 1992, Shute et al. in press).
Countries:
Native:
United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: A 1994 survey yielded Barrens Darters at 11 sites in 9 streams (Madison 1995). A 2004 survey yielded results suggesting that the number of occurrences may be similar to that in 1994 (Hansen et al. 2006). Hansen et al. (2006) mapped eight distinct locations in which at least one male was detected in 1994 and 2004.

Total adult population size is unknown but may be quite low. The species was recently described from only 41 specimens from two creeks and considered one of the rarest North American freshwater fishes (Page et al. 1992). The Charles Creek population appears to be the largest known population (Layman et al. 1993). Also, during a 1994 survey of 67 sites, a total of 93 individuals was collected at 11 locations. The number of individuals recorded was low at all locations except Charles Creek (Madison 1995).

Hansen et al. (2006) caught a total of 75 Barrens Darters at a rate of 21 individuals per hour of backpack-electrofishing effort (similar to the 1994 survey when the same identification criteria are applied to both studies; at least one male Barrens Darter was present at six of the 10 sites sampled; abundance was low at most known sites within the limited geographic range.

Trend over the past 10 years or three generations is uncertain but possibly stable. Barrens Darter population status was not noticeably different in 2004 (Hansen et al. 2006) than in 1994 (Madison 1995). The total number of individuals observed and number of sites occupied were similar through time.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Habitat includes rocky pools and adjacent riffles of headwaters and creeks (Page and Burr 2011).
Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is vulnerable due to its limited distribution and small population size; other potential threats include habitat degradation, limited availability of spawning habitat, and competition or hybridization with closely related Etheostoma crossopterum (Hansen and Mattingly 2010). Landowner cooperation will play an essential role in conserving this rare fish (Hansen and Mattingly 2010).

Potential threats to the species include hybridization with the Fringed Darter and stream habitat degradation resulting from land use practices (Hansen et al. 2006).

Rapidly increasing pressure on groundwater by the conversion of small farms or cattle pasturelands to large-scale row cropping and nurseries may severely limit the number of streams with a permanent water supply. Additionally, the cumulative effects of these conversions may severely degrade water quality of these streams (see Shute et al. in press). Siltation and pesticide use as a result of agricultural land use may also limit availability of suitable habitat (Madison 1995, Shute et al. in press). At some sites, there is a heavy silt load due to the destruction of the riparian zone by livestock (Madison 1995).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Better information is needed on current distribution, abundance, trend, and extent and nature of threats.
Citation: NatureServe 2013. Etheostoma forbesi. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 April 2014.
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