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Coregonus huntsmani 

Scope: Global
Language: English
Status_ne_offStatus_dd_offStatus_lc_offStatus_nt_offStatus_vu_offStatus_en_offStatus_cr_onStatus_ew_offStatus_ex_off

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Salmoniformes Salmonidae

Scientific Name: Coregonus huntsmani Scott, 1987
Common Name(s):
English Atlantic Whitefish, Acadian Whitefish, Common Whitefish, Round Whitefish, Sault Whitefish
French Cisco

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2015-07-21
Assessor(s): Smith, K.
Reviewer(s): Alfonso, N., Tonn, B., Cox, N.A. & Rand, P.S.
Justification:
The species is listed as Critically Endangered because it is now restricted to three interconnected lakes, in the Petite Rivière in Nova Scotia, with an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 74 km². The major threats to the species are the introduced Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu) and Chain Pickerel (Esox niger), pollution caused by leaching of domestic waste and the dam which stops the species migrate back out to sea (making the species only known from a single location). The species became extirpated from the Tusket River due to dams, over harvesting and acid deposition (rain). It has been introduced into Anderson Lake, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, on an experimental basis, however life cycle closure has not been confirmed at this new location (COSEWIC 2010). The Anderson Lake population can be considered as part of the species wild native population after it has produced viable offspring, and after a five year period.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The species is endemic to eastern Canada, where it is now restricted to three lakes (Hebb, Milipsigate and Minamkeak) in the upper Petite Rivière watershed, near Bridgewater, Nova Scotia (COSEWIC 2010). The historic range includes the entire Petite Rivière watershed and the Tusket-Annis watershed, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia where it is now extirpated. According to COSEWIC (2010), a few strays from the three lakes have been caught in lower sections of the Petite Rivière. A second population of Atlantic Whitefish has been introduced to Anderson Lake, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, on an experimental basis, however life cycle closure has not been confirmed at this new location. Its EOO is estimated at 74 km² (based on a minimum convex polygon around the lakes), and given that the lakes are interconnected, it is considered as one location, based on the current threats to the species.
Countries occurrence:
Native:
Canada (Nova Scotia)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:16
Number of Locations:1
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population size of this species is not known, but is considered to be very low (Fisheries and Oceans Canada 2016). Historically, the species was commonly caught in the Petite Rivière estuary and in the the Tusket River basin (COSEWIC 2010). The Tusket River population apparently declined rapidly in the 1940s and 1950s and it is now considered extirpated, possibly due to the combined effects of construction and operation of the Tusket hydroelectric dam, poaching, and river acidification (Fisheries and Oceans Canada 2016). A recent study suggests that the genetic effective population size in the Petite Rivière is between 18 and 38 individuals, among the lowest of any coregonid fish species examined (Cook 2012).

Approximately 12,000 captive-reared individuals of the species have been introduced into Anderson Lake, but there is no estimate of the present abundance and no confirmation of their self-sustainability (Fisheries and Oceans Canada 2016).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Historically anadromous, adults were reported from estuarine and sea waters during the summer and migrated into fresh water to spawn during the autumn months, after spawning, at least some Atlantic Whitefish were known to spend the winter in fresh water before descending into tidal waters the following spring (COSEWIC 2010). The species is land-locked in the Petite Rivière lakes and connecting streams where they complete their life cycle.
Systems:Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Historically harvested for personal consumption in the Tusket River.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The current major threats to the species are the introduced Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu) and Chain Pickerel (Esox niger), urbanization impacts such as pollution caused by leaching of domestic waste, and barriers to fish passage (COSEWIC 2010, Fisheries and Oceans Canada 2016). Dams blocking the species access to marine environment has also limited the species range. The species was extirpated from the Tusket River due to dam construction, over-harvesting and acid deposition.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is listed as Endangered under the Species at Risk Act and is protected under provincial legislation, namely the Environment Act and the Endangered Species Act. As mandated by the Species at Risk Act, a Recovery Strategy has been prepared by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (Fisheries and Oceans Canada 2016).  A second population of Atlantic Whitefish has been introduced to Anderson Lake, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, on an experimental basis, however life cycle closure has not been confirmed at this new location (COSEWIC 2010).

Classifications [top]

5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.5. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
2. Land/water management -> 2.3. Habitat & natural process restoration
3. Species management -> 3.2. Species recovery
4. Education & awareness -> 4.3. Awareness & communications

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:Yes
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:Yes
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:Yes
In-Place Education
5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Past, Unlikely to Return ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Past Impact 

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.2. Dams & water management/use -> 7.2.9. Small dams
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Whole (>90%) ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.3. Indirect species effects -> 2.3.5. Inbreeding
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.3. Indirect species effects -> 2.3.8. Other

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.2. Problematic native species/diseases -> 8.2.2. Named species [ Micropterus dolomieu ]
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.2. Problematic native species/diseases -> 8.2.2. Named species [ Esox niger ]
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

9. Pollution -> 9.1. Domestic & urban waste water -> 9.1.1. Sewage
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

9. Pollution -> 9.5. Air-borne pollutants -> 9.5.1. Acid rain
♦ timing:Past, Unlikely to Return ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Past Impact 

Bibliography [top]

Cook, A.M. 2012. Addressing key conservation priorities in a data poor species. Dalhousie University.

COSEWIC. 2010. COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Atlantic Whitefish Coregonus huntsmani in Canada. . Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, Ottawa.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada. 2016. Amended Recovery Strategy for the Atlantic Whitefish (Coregonus huntsmani) in Canada. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa.

IUCN. 2017. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2017-3. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 7 December 2017).


Citation: Smith, K. 2017. Coregonus huntsmani. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T5379A81422722. . Downloaded on 13 December 2017.
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