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Etheostoma moorei

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII PERCIFORMES PERCIDAE

Scientific Name: Etheostoma moorei
Species Authority: Raney & Suttkus, 1964
Common Name(s):
English Yellowcheek Darter

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-12-21
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 Endangered because its extent of occurrence is less than 5,000 sq km, area of occupancy is less than 500 sq km, the species occurs in not more than five locations, and habitat is subject to continuing declines in quality.
History:
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Vulnerable (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Vulnerable (IUCN 1990)
1988 Rare (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Rare (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species' range encompasses the upper Little Red River drainage (White River drainage) above Greers Ferry Lake in Cleburne, Searcy, Stone, and Van Buren counties, Arkansas (Robison and Buchanan 1988). Much of the original range was inundated by Greers Ferry Lake in the early 1960s. Remaining populations occur in the following tributaries of the Little Red River: South Fork, Middle Fork, Archey Creek, and Devils Fork (including Turkey Fork [at least formerly] and Beech Fork segments) (Mitchell et al. 2002, USFWS 2011), although the Devils Fork population is now highly reduced or extirpated (Wine et al. 2000).

Extent of occurrence is less than 2,000 square kilometers (probably greater than 1,000).
Countries:
Native:
United States (Arkansas)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Each of the 3–4 occupied tributaries can be considered to be a single occurrence or subpopulation, separated by the reservoir.

A thorough survey in 2000 yielded an estimated population size of approximately 10,300 individuals (uncertain whether this refers to adults or all individuals), with 6,000 in Middle Fork, 2,300 in South Fork, and 2,000 in Archey Fork (none were found in the Devils Fork system) (Wine et al. 2000).

Weston and Johnson (2005, cited by USFWS 2011), estimated yellowcheek darter populations within the Middle Fork to be between 15,000 and 40,000 individuals, and between 13,000 and 17,000 individuals in the South Fork. Confidence in these estimates is low, so it is unclear whether these numbers reflect a true increase in the populations (USFWS 2011).

Most of the best habitat was destroyed by inundation and cold tailwater releases from Greers Ferry Reservoir (USFWS 2011). Estimated population size declined from approximately 60,000 in 1978–1981 (Robison and Harp 1981) to 10,300 in 2000 (Wine et al. 2000). Subsequently, an increase may have occurred (USFWS 2011).

Area of occupancy and area and quality of habitat probably are still declining, but better data are needed.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This fish occupies small to medium, high gradient, clear rivers, in swift to moderate riffles with gravel, rubble, and boulder bottoms (Robison and Buchanan 1988, Page and Burr 2011). Juveniles occur in shallow riffles; adults are commonly found at depths of 10–20 inches (Robison and Allen 1995). Podostemon often grows in inhabited riffles. Spawning occurs in swifter, turbulent portions of riffles around or under the largest substrate particles available (lower portions of riffles) (Wine et al. 2000).
Systems: Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): According to USFWS (2011), threats include such activities as impoundment, sedimentation, poor livestock grazing practices, improper timber harvest practices, nutrient enrichment, gravel mining, channelization/channel instability, and natural gas development. These threats are considered imminent and of high magnitude throughout the species' entire range. USFWS (2011) had no information indicating that the magnitude or imminence of these threats is likely to be appreciably reduced in the foreseeable future, and in the case of pipeline disturbance, USFWS expected this threat to become more problematic over the next several years as natural gas development continues to intensify.

Suitable habitat has declined due to impoundment (see Mitchell et al. 2002). Tributary headwaters have fluctuating and often inadequate flows and so do not provide optimal habitat.

Historical distribution has been fragmented, and population and genetic interchanges among the remaining populations is no longer possible. Remaining populations may be negatively impacted by factors affecting small populations.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Patterns of genetic differentiation among populations indicate that the Turkey Fork and Middle/South Fork populations be treated as unique management units (Mitchell et al. 2002).

An introduction program utilizing captive-raised fish should be initiated, as suggested by Buchanan (1974).

Remaining occurrences need to be protected.

Citation: NatureServe 2013. Etheostoma moorei. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 01 October 2014.
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