Etheostoma okaloosae 

Scope: Global

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Percidae

Scientific Name: Etheostoma okaloosae
Species Authority: (Fowler, 1941)
Common Name(s):
English Okaloosa Darter

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern 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.
Listed as Least Concern because although the extent of occurrence is less than 1,000 km2, area of occupancy is less than 500 km2, and the species occurs in a small number of locations (six stream systems), population size is large, threats have been reduced, and current trend is stable or increasing.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Range is restricted to six adjacent stream systems (in Boggy and Rocky bayous) draining into Choctawhatchee Bay, Okaloosa and Walton counties, Florida, USA (USFWS 2007, Page and Burr 2011). The species inhabits approximately 46,000 ha of watershed; 90% of total range is within the Eglin Air Force Base.
Countries occurrence:
United States (Florida)
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is known from six adjacent stream systems draining into the western end of Choctawhatchee Bay, Florida.

Total adult population size is estimated at 625,000 (USFWS 2007, 2011).

This species has been extirpated from about 9% of former distribution (USFWS 2007, 2011).

Large and increasing populations exist in the majority of the range (USFWS 2007, 2011).
Current Population Trend:Increasing
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This darter typically occurs along the margins of small to medium (1.5–12.2 meters wide, 0.15–1.2 meters deep) clear creeks fed by groundwater seepage, with slow to swift current and bottom of clean sand and, in areas of reduced current, mud or detritus; usually it is associated with aquatic vegetation, and it tends to avoid open sand stretches without cover and areas where stream flow is negligible (USFWS 1980, 1997; Kuehne and Barbour 1983; Burkhead et al. 1992; Page and Burr 2011). Vegetation, woody debris, and root mats are used as spawning substrate (USFWS 1997). Associated upland habitat is mostly pine-oak sandhills. Natural processes (e.g., fire, flooding, sediment transport, and vegetative succession) maintain headwater stream sections with characteristics that foster healthy populations (USFWS 1997).
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Local declines within and outside Eglin AFB have been associated with erosion and stream sedimentation (Burkhead et al. 1992). Improved resource stewardship on Eglin AFB has reduced threats to Okaloosa darter habitat (USFWS 2007, 2011). USFWS continues to work with Eglin AFB, the City of Niceville, and Okaloosa and Walton counties to restore additional habitat through the removal and replacement of road crossings and impoundments throughout the darter's range (USFWS 2011).

Competitive interactions with introduced Etheostoma edwini may affect the distribution and abundance of E. okaloosae in some areas while in other areas habitat degradation may be more influential in the distributions of the two species (Burkhead et al. 1992); however, available evidence indicates that E. edwini is not negatively affecting E. okaloosae in most areas (USFWS 2007).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conduct controlled removal of E. edwini from Rocky and Swift creeks; monitor and control siltation and eutrophication. Establish a public education program and evaluate its success (USFWS 1997).

Water quality and quantity in all occupied habitats and their watersheds should be carefully protected.

Populations in and around Eglin Air Force Base need to be constantly monitored.

Investigate interactions with E. edwini, range expansion of E. edwini, and dependence on water quality.

Classifications [top]

5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
1. Land/water protection -> 1.2. Resource & habitat protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
2. Land/water management -> 2.2. Invasive/problematic species control
2. Land/water management -> 2.3. Habitat & natural process restoration
3. Species management -> 3.2. Species recovery

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:Yes
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
8. Invasive & other problematic species & genes -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species -> 8.1.2. Named species [ Etheostoma edwini ]
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%)   

9. Pollution -> 9.2. Industrial & military effluents -> 9.2.3. Type Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%)   

9. Pollution -> 9.3. Agricultural & forestry effluents -> 9.3.2. Soil erosion, sedimentation
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%)   

3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.4. Habitat trends

Bibliography [top]

Baillie, J. and Groombridge, B. (eds). 1996. 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. pp. 378. International Union for Conservation of Nature, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Burkhead, N.M., Jelks, H.L., Jordan, F., Weaver, D.C.and Williams, J.D. 1994. The comparative ecology of Okaloosa (Etheostoma okaloosae) and brown darters (E. edwini) in Boggy and Rocky Bayou stream systems, Choctawhatchee Bay, Florida. Final report to Eglin Air Force Base.

Burkhead, N.M., Williams, J.D. and Yerger, R.W. 1992. Okaloosa darter Etheostoma okaloosae. In: C.R. Gilbert (ed.), Rare and endangered biota of Florida. Volume II. Fishes, pp. 23-30. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Gilbert, C.R. (ed.). 1992. Rare and Endangered Biota of Florida. Volume II. Fishes. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Groombridge, B. (ed.). 1994. 1994 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN. 1990. 1990 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN. 2014. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. Available at: (Accessed: 13 November 2014).

IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre. 1986. 1986 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre. 1988. IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Jelks, H.L., Walsh, S.J., Burkhead, N.M., Contreras-Balderas, S., Díaz-Pardo, E., Hendrickson, D.A., Lyons, J., Mandrak, N.E., McCormick, F., Nelson, J.S., Platania, S.P., Porter, B.A., Renaud, C.B., Jacobo Schmitter-Soto, J., Taylor, E.B. and Warren, M.L. Jr. 2008. Conservation status of imperiled North American freshwater and diadromous Fishes. Fisheries 33(8).

Kuehne, R.A. and Barbour, R.W. 1983. The American Darters. University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky.

Lee, D.S., Gilbert, C.R., Hocutt, C.H., Jenkins, R.E., McAllister, D.E. and Stauffer, J.R., Jr. 1980. Atlas of North American Freshwater Fishes. North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.

Matthews, J.R. and Moseley, C.J. (eds). 1990. The Official World Wildlife Fund Guide to Endangered Species of North America. Volume 2. Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, Fishes, Mussels, Crustaceans, Snails, Insects, and Srachnids. Beacham Publications, Inc., Washington, D.C.

Nelson, J.S., Crossman, E.J., Espinosa-Pérez, H., Findley, L.T., Gilbert, C.R., Lea, R.N. and Williams, J.D. 2004. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Ono, R.D., Williams, J.D. and Wagner, A. 1983. Vanishing Fishes of North America. Stone Wall Press, Washington, DC.

Page, L.M. 1983. Handbook of Darters. T. F. H. Pub., Inc., Neptune City, New Jersey.

Page, L.M. and Burr, B.M. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes: North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Page, L.M. and Burr, B.M. 2011. Peterson field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Robins, C.R., Bailey, R.M., Bond, C.E., Brooker, J.R., Lachner, E.A., Lea, R.N. and Scott, W.B. 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1980. Selected vertebrate endangered species of the seacoast of the United States-- the Okaloosa darter. FWS/OBS-80/01.43.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 1990. Endangered and threatened species recovery program: report to Congress. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D.C.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 1997. Okaloosa darter technical/agency draft revised recovery plan. USFWS, Atlanta, Georgia.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2007. Okaloosa darter (Etheostoma okaloosae) 5-year review: summary and evaluation. USFWS, Panama City, Florida.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2010. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants; proposed reclassification of the Okaloosa darter from endangered to threatened. Federal Register 75(21): 5263-5278.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2011. Reclassification of the Okaloosa darter from endangered to threatened and special rule. Federal Register 76(63): 18087-18103.

Citation: NatureServe. 2014. Etheostoma okaloosae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T8123A13387530. . Downloaded on 29 July 2016.
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