Southeast

Diversity, Distribution, and Conservation Status of the Native Freshwater Fishes of the Southern United States

Volume: 
Vol. 25 (10); 7-29
Year: 
2000
Abstract: 

The Southeastern Fishes Council Technical Advisory Committee reviewed the diversity, distribution, and status of all native freshwater and diadromous fishes across 51 major drainage units of the southern United States. The southern United States supports more native fishes than any area of comparable size on the North American continent north of Mexico, but also has a high proportion of its fishes in need of conservation action. The review included 662 native freshwater and diadromous fishes and 24 marine fishes that are significant components of freshwater ecosystems. Of this total, 560 described, freshwater fish species are documented, and 49 undescribed species are included provisionally pending formal description. Described subspecies (86) are recognized within 43 species, 6 fishes have undescribed subspecies, and 9 others are recognized as complexes of undescribed taxa. Extinct, endangered, threatened, or vulnerable status is recognized for 28% (187 taxa) of southern freshwater and diadromous fishes. To date, 3 southern fishes are known to be extinct throughout their ranges, 2 are extirpated from the study region, and 2 others may be extinct. Of the extant southern fishes, 41 (6%) are regarded as endangered, 46 (7%) are regarded as threatened, and 101 (15%) are regarded as vulnerable. Five marine fishes that frequent fresh water are regarded as vulnerable. Our assessment represents a 75% increase in jeopardized southern fishes since 1989 and a 125% increase in 20 years. The trend for fishes in the southern United States is clear; jeopardized fishes are successively being moved from the vulnerable category to that of imminent threat of extinction.

Author(s): 

Warren , M.L. , Burr , B.M., Walsh , S.J.,

Contact: 

US Forest Service; Oxford, MS

Notes: 
Category: 

Freshwater bivalve extinctions (mollusca: unionoida): a search for causes

Volume: 
Vol. 33( ) 599-609
Year: 
1993
Abstract: 

The freshwater bivalves (Mollusca: Order Unionoida) are classified in six families and about 165 genera worldwide. Worldwide rate of extinction of freshwater bivalves is poorly understood at this time. The North American freshwater fauna north of Mexico is represented by 297 taxa in two families. There are 19 taxa presumed extinct, 44 species listed or proposed as federally endangered, and there are another 69 species that may be endangered. A number of these endangered species are functionally extinct (individuals of a species surviving but not reproducing). Extinction of North American unionoid bivalves can be traced to impoundment and inundation of riffle habitat in major rivers such as the Ohio, Tennessee and Cumberland and Mobile Bay Basin. Damming resulted in the local loss of the bivalves' host fish. This loss of the obligate host fish, coupled with increased siltation, and various types of industrial and domestic pollution have resulted in the rapid decline in the unionoid bivalve fauna in North America. Freshwater communities in Europe have experienced numerous problems, some local unionoid populations have been extirpated, but no unionoid species are extinct. Three taxa from Israel are now reported as extinct. Other nations such as China that have problems with soil erosion and industrial pollution or have numerous dams on some of the rivers (e.g. South America: Rio Parana) are probably experiencing problems of local extirpation if not the extinction of their endemic freshwater bivalve fauna

Author(s): 

Bogan, A.E.

Contact: 
Notes: 
Category: