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Etheostoma osburni

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII PERCIFORMES PERCIDAE

Scientific Name: Etheostoma osburni
Species Authority: (Hubbs & Trautman, 1932)
Common Name(s):
English Finescale Saddled Darter

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2011-12-22
Assessor(s): NatureServe
Reviewer(s): Smith, K. & Darwall, W.R.T.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Hammerson, G.A. & Ormes, M.
Justification:
Listed as Near Threatened because extent of occurrence is less than 10,000 sq km, distribution and abundance appear to be declining (probably less than 30 percent over 10 years or three generations) and the species faces ongoing threats from human activities and introduced fish species. However, the species occurs in more than 10 locations and apparently does not have a severely fragmented distribution, so it does not fully meet the criteria for the Vulnerable category.
History:
1994 Rare (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Rare (IUCN 1990)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Range includes the Kanawha River drainage above Kanawha Falls, West Virginia and Virginia (Page and Burr 2011); New River drainage, in the Ridge and Valley of Virginia and the Appalachian Plateaus of West Virginia (Jenkins and Burkhead 1994). See Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) for corrections of identifications affecting the known ranges of this species and E. kanawhae.

In West Virginia, E. osburni is distributed widely throughout the Greenbrier and Gauley rivers (Stauffer et al. 1995).

In Virginia, E. osburni is generally distributed only in Big Stony Creek, perhaps solely above the gypsum plant at Kimbalton; it is extremely localized in Laurel Fork of the Wolf Creek system; and has a limited range in the New River. It is known also from Reed, Big Walker, Little Stony, and Sinking creeks, and Spruce and Pine runs, but there are no recent records from these streams (Burkhead and Jenkins 1991).
Countries:
Native:
United States (Virginia, West Virginia)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is represented by a fairly large number of occurrences (subpopulations). Stauffer et al. (1995) mapped 40+ collection sites in West Virginia. Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) mapped 18 sites in Virginia, representing at least several distinct occurrences, but the species may not be extant in some of those areas.

This species is regarded as fairly common (Page and Burr 2011). It is generally rare in Virginia; at best, uncommon in Big Stony Creek (Jenkins and Burkhead 1994).

In Virginia, much reduced or absent in most tributaries that produced records from 1940 to 1970 (Burkhead and Jenkins 1991). Chipps et al. (1993) reported that this species may be disappearing from several streams in the Monongahela National Forest.

Current trend is uncertain, but this species appears to be declining in area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and abundance.

West Virginia Division of Natural Resources initiated a survey in 1993 to evaluate the status of the candy darter throughout its entire range in the state. Through 2000, approximately 40 of 50 historic candy darter sites (i.e., localities established prior to 1980) were visited. The survey revealed that although this species is probably declining or has been extirpated from certain waters within its West Virginia range, several excellent sites still exist (Cincotta et al. 2000).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Habitat includes fast rubble riffles of small to medium rivers (Page and Burr 1991); swift water over stones and boulders in cool montane streams; rocky, typically clear, cold and warm, small to large creeks; adults generally occur in unsilted runs, riffles, and swift pockets of current in and around large rubble and boulders (Burkhead and Jenkins 1991); cool to warm waters of small streams to medium sized rivers in the Ridge and Valley Province of Virginia and West Virginia, and the Appalachian Plateau of West Virginia (Cincotta et al. 2000). In three streams in West Virginia, this darter occurred in fast current velocities over rock substrate in water depths of 20–30 cm (Chipps et al. 1994). Spawning may occur in patches of sand in swift water (Burkhead and Jenkins 1991).
Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Threats include stream turbidity and siltation resulting from human activities. Stocking of trout may be detrimental (trout probably eat E. osburni). Also, anglers may limit populations by wading through possible spawning sites (Burkhead and Jenkins 1991). Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) stated that they previously (Burkhead and Jenkins 1991) may have underrated the jeopardy of this species in Virginia by recommending it for only special concern status; in 1994 they rated it as endangered or threatened in Virginia due to "localization or extirpation of most populations."

Switzer et al. (2007) found strong genetic evidence of hybridization between Etheostoma osburni and introduced E. variatum in the New River drainage. Specimens of E. osburni from the Greenbrier River drainage above Anthony Creek did not have evidence of hybridization with E. variatum and appear to be functioning as a separate population from individuals collected from Anthony Creek and sites downstream. However, E. variatum could expend upstream and affect additional E. osburni populations.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Better information is needed on spawning sites and season, life span, food supply, current distribution, abundance, and trend.

Citation: NatureServe 2014. Etheostoma osburni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 December 2014.
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