Lampetra richardsoni 

Scope: Global

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Cephalaspidomorphi Petromyzontiformes Petromyzontidae

Scientific Name: Lampetra richardsoni
Species Authority: Vladykov & Follett, 1965
Common Name(s):
English Western Brook Lamprey

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2012-02-22
Assessor(s): NatureServe
Reviewer(s): Smith, K. & Darwall, W.R.T.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Hammerson, G.A. & Ormes, M.
This species is listed as Least Concern because its extent of occurrence, number of subpopulations, and population size are relatively large, and because the species probably is not declining fast enough to qualify for any of the threatened categories.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Range includes streams of the North American Pacific coast from Taku River, southern Alaska, to central California, including Vancouver Island, with major inland distributions in the Columbia and Sacramento-San Joaquin drainages (Vladykov and Follett 1965, Moyle 2002, Wydoski and Whitney 2003, Page and Burr 2011). In Washington, this species occurs in coastal and Puget Sound streams and as far inland as the upper reaches of the Yakima River; recorded in streams on the west and south sides of the Olympic Peninsula but not on the north or east sides (Wydoski and Whitney 2003). This lamprey is relatively common in forested coastal basins, such as the Alsea River, Oregon, but has largely disappeared from Columbia River basins above Bonneville Dam. In California, Western Brook Lampreys have been recorded mainly from the Sacramento River drainage, including areas as remote as Kelsey Creek above Clear Lake (Lake County), but they are also present above Pillbury Reservoir in the Eel River and in Mark West Creek, a tributary of the Russian River; spawning adults were collected in the Navarro River (Mendocino County) in 1999 (Moyle 2002). Ammocoetes from an extirpated population in the Los Angeles River basin may represent this species (Moyle 2002). Western Brook Lamprey is easily overlooked and difficult to collect, it is likely that this species occurs in many streams in coastal California (Moyle 2002).
Countries occurrence:
Canada; United States
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is widely distributed and probably represented by many occurrences (more than presently recorded; species is relatively difficult to detect and identify).

Total adult population size is unknown but large. It is very abundant in Canada and throughout the range, especially during the ammocoete stage (Beamish pers. comm.). Up to 170 ammocoetes/m² have been reported in the lower courses of streams in the Pacific Northwest (Scott and Crossman 1973, Mecklenburg et al. 2002).

No reliable population estimates for the Morrison Creek population are available (Environment Canada 2004).

Abundance has probably declined in polluted and altered rivers.

The Morrison Creek population was relatively stable between 1978 and 1984, but may have declined in recent years (Environment Canada 2004).

Trend over the past 10 years or three generations is unknown but probably not rapidly declining.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Habitat includes gravel riffles and runs of clear, cool streams (Page and Burr 2011). Ammocoetes are found in eddies of streams where rich deposits of silt, mixed with some sand, settle. Adults usually taken over gravel riffles while spawning (Lee et al. 1980). In California, this species occurs in low elevation portions of streams and rivers; it is probably restricted to the less disturbed portions of streams (Moyle 1976). Spawning occurs in riffles on rock, sand, or gravel stream bottoms. Lampreys spawn in a shallow depressions at the heads riffles (Wydoski and Whitney 1979).
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major threats are apparent at this time, but the species is probably unable to withstand severe pollution or habitat changes (Moyle 2002). Potential threats include stream pollution, habitat modification that changes stream flow rates and siltation patterns, and use of poisons in fish management practices.

The Morrison Creek population is threatened by rapid residential development along stretches of important spawning and rearing habitat; this lamprey's extremely limited distribution places it at higher risk to all threats, especially habitat modification (Fisheries and Oceans Canada 2004).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Currently, this species is of relatively low conservation concern and does not require significant additional protection or major management, monitoring, or research action.

Citation: NatureServe. 2013. Lampetra richardsoni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T202630A18236331. . Downloaded on 26 October 2016.
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