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Amblyopsis rosae

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII PERCOPSIFORMES AMBLYOPSIDAE

Scientific Name: Amblyopsis rosae
Species Authority: (Eigenmann, 1898)
Common Name(s):
English Ozark Cavefish

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2012-04-26
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 Near Threatened because: extent of occurrence is less than 20,000 sq km; area of occupancy is unknown but exceeds 10 sq km; number of locations is uncertain but more than 10; distribution is not severely fragmented; population size is unknown but probably exceeds 250 mature individuals; and trend in habitat quality, number of subpopulations, and probably population size appears to be slowly declining. Thus the species meets some, but not all, of the criteria for Vulnerable status.
History:
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Vulnerable (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Vulnerable (IUCN 1990)
1988 Vulnerable (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Vulnerable (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Range includes the Springfield Plateau of the Ozark Highlands in southwestern Missouri, northwestern Arkansas, and northeastern Oklahoma (Brown and Willis 1984); this region is drained by the White, Neosho, and Osage rivers (USFWS 2011).
Countries:
Native:
United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Ozark cavefish are consistently seen at 16 of the 41 known "active" sites (USFWS 2011). Based on groundwater recharge zones, the number of locations (as defined by IUCN) is more than 10.

Total adult population size is unknown. "A range-wide estimate of countable cavefish using the most recent population monitoring numbers suggests 213 individuals. It is generally acknowledged that this species is a groundwater obligate and this estimate does not reflect actual numbers. Biologists only count fish in accessible reaches of caves and wells, and are unable to access groundwater conduits where fish may be distributed throughout." Source: USFWS (2011).

Just two caves represent approximately 80 percent of the countable cavefish (USFWS 2011).

This species currently exists in 41 caves and wells, whereas historically it occurred at about 52 sites (see USFWS 2011). However, the majority of the 41 sites have not had confirmed cavefish sightings for at least six years (USFWS 2011).

"There is no evidence over the past year to indicate population declines. However, 17 of 35 occupied sites have not had a documented cavefish in 6+ years. Sufficient documentation does not exist at this time to indicate whether the loss of these sites is indicative of large-scale population declines or site-specific declines at the extant localities." Source: USFWS (2011).

Trend over the past 10 years or three generations is uncertain, but area of occupancy and abundance probably are slowly declining. "Using monitoring numbers and professional judgement of cavefish biologists for determining population trend, six populations have declined, 25 are undetermined, and 10 are stable. Of populations that are undetermined and/or unoccupied, infrequency of survey and site accessibility issues may be contributing factors." Source: USFWS (2011).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Habitat includes dark cave waters, primarily clear streams with chert or rubble bottom, occasionally pools over silt or sand bottom. See Willis and Brown (1985). See Lister and Noltie (no date) for detailed information on the characteristics of occupied and unoccupied habitat.
Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Threats include water pollution from agricultural and urban sources, flooding by reservoirs, closing of cave entrances, accidental spills of contaminants along transportation routes, restricted habitat, and heavy use of some sites by cavers (Willis and Brown 1985, Brown and Todd 1987, Aley and Aley 1997, USFWS 2011). Water quality threats are typically from non-point sources and difficult to regulate (USFWS 2011). Increased groundwater withdrawals for home, community, and agricultural use, depletes groundwater and limits available habitat (USFWS 2011). Several populations have been extirpated as a result of stocking of trout, filling in of cave/sinkhole entrances, contaminant spills, or flooding by reservoirs (USFWS 2011). Possible reduction of bat populations resulting from white-nose syndrome is regarded as a potential threat (USFWS 2011).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation needs include restricting human access to subterranean habitat and protecting watershed from pollution.

Citation: NatureServe 2014. Amblyopsis rosae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 December 2014.
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