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Stenodus leucichthys

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII SALMONIFORMES SALMONIDAE

Scientific Name: Stenodus leucichthys
Species Authority: (Güldenstädt, 1772)
Common Name(s):
English Inconnu, Beloribitsa
French Stenode Blanc
Spanish Salmon Blanco
Synonym(s):
Salmo leucichthys Güldenstädt, 1772

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Extinct in the Wild ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Freyhof, J. & Kottelat, M.
Reviewer(s): Skopets, M. (IUCN SSC Salmon Specialist Group), Bogutskaya, N., & Smith, K. (IUCN Freshwater Biodiversity Unit)
Justification:
Construction of dams led to the loss of all spawning grounds for the species (the Volga, Ural and Terek drainages). Native stocks are reportedly extinct and survival depends exclusively on stocking, which has decreased since the Soviet era. In 2004, only about 100 spawners were caught below Volgograd dam and used for ranching. Increasing illegal fishing in the Volga and in the Caspian Sea is now a very critical concern. S. nelma was introduced in the northern Volga drainage and is now expanding and might threaten surviving populations and cultivated stocks through hybridization. In the 1960s, it was already extremely rare in the Ural, where it has not been recorded since. No individuals of the species (wild or 2nd generation reintroduced) exist in the species in native range.
History:
1996 Data Deficient

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Caspian Sea (commonly central and southern Caspian in summer), Volga, Ural and Terek drainages.
Countries:
Regionally extinct:
Azerbaijan; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Kazakhstan; Russian Federation; Turkmenistan
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Native stocks are reportedly extinct and survival depends exclusively on stocking. In the Volga all spawning grounds were above Volgograd dam. In 1959 only a few spawners remained. Up to 33 million (1988) juveniles were stocked during Soviet times. Between 1996-99 only 600,000 juveniles were stocked and the spawning population is in a drastic decline again. In 2004, only about 100 spawners were caught below Volgograd dam. In the 1960s, it was already extremely rare in the Ural, where it has not been recorded since.

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Habitat:
At sea, throughout basin in pelagic zone with temperatures below 18°C and 20-50 m deep. Juveniles and adults overwinter and forage at sea. Large lowland rivers during migration. Prior to the construction of dams, migration route was over 3000 km long, reaching up to uppermost reaches of Ufa and Belaya drainages (Kama tributaries). Spawns on gravel shallows.

Biology:
Anadromous. Spawns for the first time at 5-8 years, females usually two years later than males. In autumn, starts migration from sea to estuaries. Mature adults enter Volga, only few individuals enter Terek and Ural. Migration takes almost a year. Spawns in September-October at temperatures below 6°C. Adults migrate back to sea soon after spawning, but many die. Eggs adhere to gravel and rocks. Embryonic development lasts about six months, alevins appear in April. Fry actively migrates to sea soon after start of exogenous feeding. At 30 days, juveniles already start to feed on fry of other fishes. Adults feed exclusively on fish. Active predator, feeds on all available fish, commonly small schooling species.
Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Construction of dams led to the loss of all spawning grounds for the species (the Volga, Ural and Terek drainages). Increasing illegal fishing in the Volga and in the Caspian Sea is now a very critical concern. S. nelma was introduced in the northern Volga drainage and is now expanding and might threaten surviving populations and cultivated stocks through hybridization.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No information.

Citation: Freyhof, J. & Kottelat, M. 2008. Stenodus leucichthys. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 30 October 2014.
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