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Etheostoma pseudovulatum

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII PERCIFORMES PERCIDAE

Scientific Name: Etheostoma pseudovulatum
Species Authority: Page & Ceas, 1992
Common Name(s):
English Egg-mimic Darter

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-12-30
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 its extent of occurrence is less than 1000 sq km, area of occupancy is less than 100 sq km, number of locations is 7, and habitat quality is subject to ongoing declines.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This darter is known from several tributary systems of the Duck River drainage, Tennessee: Piney River, Beaverdam Creek, Happy Hollow Creek, Only Creek, and Little Piney Creek systems (Page et al. 1992, Ceas and Page 1995, Page and Burr 2011). One juvenile has been collected in Wolf Creek, but it is unclear if a population actually exists in Wolf Creek (Ceas and Page 1995).

Most records are from the Piney River and its tributaries, which drain into the Duck River from the north; the remainder are from Beaverdam Creek and its tributary, Sulphur Fork, which enter the Duck River from the south, just a few miles downstream of the mouth of the Piney River: Beaverdam Creek; Big Spring Creek; East Piney River; Mill Creek; Piney River (3 sites spanning 13 river miles); Sulphur Fork; West Piney River (Amy Kristen Wales pers. comm. 2009).

The entire range encompasses approximately 370 square miles (958 square kilometers) (Ceas and Page 1995).
Countries:
Native:
United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The number of occurrences has not been determined using standardized criteria, but each of the five occupied tributaries of the Duck River in Tennessee (Page et al. 1992, Ceas and Page 1995) could be regarded as a distinct occurrence. Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) records encompass 9 sites in 7 streams (Amy Kristen Wales pers. comm. 2009).

Historically the species was collected from 26 sites in four tributaries of the Duck River system. A 1994-1995 survey of 43 sites, including 10 historical sites, concentrated on attempting to document new populations. This survey recorded individuals at all 10 of the historical sites surveyed, plus seven additional sites, including two new stream systems.

Page et al. (1992) stated that the species is fairly common in its range, and Page (pers. comm. 1998) estimated the population size as over 3,000 individuals. Page and Burr (2011) characterized this species as "common in small range."

Population sizes can vary from large in some localities to very small with restricted ranges in other localities (Shute et al.). During a 1994-1995 survey concentrating on locating new populations, the number of individuals collected were grouped into categories of less than 10 and more than 10 individuals collected per site in 20-30 minutes of sampling, and more than 20 individuals collected in 15-20 minutes of sampling per site. Less than 10 individuals were collected at 10 sites, more than 10 individuals at three sites, and more than 20 individuals at four sites (Ceas and Page 1995).

Trend information is not available (Larry Page pers. comm. 1998), but probably the extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size have been relatively stable over the long term. Surveys in the 1990s yielded no indication of extirpations of historical populations.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Habitat includes rocky and sandy pools of headwaters and creeks (Page and Burr 2011); small to medium gravelly streams; typically this darter occurs under overhanging banks in areas of low gradient; preferred habitats have dense mats of exposed tree roots (Etnier and Starnes 1993).
Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Impoundments or activities that result in habitat modification or pollution could eliminate a unique population (Page et al. 1992, Ceas and Page 1995). Gravel mining operations may jeopardize some populations (Shute et al.). Bedload removal for gravel appears to be a common practice in the Beaverdam Creek system (Ceas and Page 1995). According to Ceas and Page (1995), some small, isolated populations are highly susceptible to extirpation, and one accidental toxic spill could eradicate a population (Ceas and Page 1995).

Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership and The Nature Conservancy (SARP and TNC) (2005) identified the following primary stresses in the Duck River watershed: altered hydrologic regimes, altered instream physical habitat conditions, altered near-stream (buffer) habitat conditions, sedimentation, nutrient loading, thermal alteration, toxins and other contaminants, and altered species composition. Of the eight stresses identified, the most prevalent were near-stream (buffer) habitat alteration, nutrient loading, sedimentation, and to a lesser degree, thermal alteration and toxins or other contaminants. The sources of stress to the Duck and Buffalo River watersheds are in six main categories: incompatible agricultural practices, wastewater management practices, urbanization, water management practices, resource extraction activities, and invasive species. The most pressing threats are associated with incompatible agricultural practices, wastewater management practices, urbanization, and water supply management practices.

Jelks et al. (2008) categorized this species as Threatened (in imminent danger of becoming an endangered species throughout all or a significant portion of its range), based on habitat loss and narrowly restricted range.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Habitat protection and improved land use and water management practices are needed. Better information is needed on abundance, trends, and threats.

Citation: NatureServe 2013. Etheostoma pseudovulatum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 19 September 2014.
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