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Silent streams? Escalating endangerment for North American freshwater fish
Date:9/9/2008

game species in the

United States, striped bass, has populations on the list.

Regions with the Most Troubled Fish

Regions with especially notable numbers of troubled fish include the Southeastern United States, the mid-Pacific coast, the lower Rio Grande and basins in Mexico that do not drain to the sea.

Hotspots of regional biodiversity and greatest levels of endangerment are the Tennessee (58 fishes), Mobile (57), and the southeastern Atlantic Slope river systems (34). The Pacific central valley, western Great Basin, Rio Grande and rivers of central Mexico also have high diversity and numbers of fish in peril, according to the report. Many of the troubled fish are restricted to only a single drainage. "Human populations have greatly expanded in many of these watersheds, compounding negative impacts on aquatic ecosystems," noted Howard Jelks, a USGS researcher and the senior author of the paper.

Degree of Trouble

Of fish on the 1989 imperiled list, 89 percent are either still listed with the same conservation status or have become even more at risk. Only 11 percent improved in status or were delisted. The authors emphasized that improved public awareness and proactive management strategies are needed to protect and recover these aquatic treasures.

"Fish are not the only aquatic organisms undergoing precipitous declines," said USGS researcher Noel Burkhead, a lead author on the report and the chair of the AFS Endangered Species Committee. "Freshwater crayfishes, snails and mussels are exhibiting similar or even greater levels of decline and extinction."

The authors noted that the list was based on the best biological information available. "We believe this report will provide national and international resource managers, scientists and the conservation community with reliable information to establish conservation, management and recovery priorities," said Stephen Walsh, anothe
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Contact: Catherine Puckett
cpuckett@usgs.gov
352-264-3532
United States Geological Survey
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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