RE: NANFA-- RE: Collecting ethics

Bruce Stallsmith (
Sun, 11 Jan 2004 19:28:15 -0500

You say it pretty well, BG. State and federal agencies are overwhelmed by
the potential amount of work of assessing species and habitats relative to
their resources. This means they'll sometimes err on the conservative side
for listings because they don't want to be blamed later on for something

I've been working on a freshwater mussel relocation project at a bridge
construction site on the Tennessee River over the past 5 months. This has
been an amazing project because we're actually reimbursed for putting divers
in the water on a regular basis and systematically picking up mussels in
sweep patterns, bringing them to the surface, ID'ing them and relocating
them upstream. With well over 4,000 individual mussels thus processed, I can
give you some eerily precise numbers on species presence (25) and abundance
(anywhere from 1 individual of a species found, to one species making up 67%
of the total take). We have handled 2 federally listed species, and another
4 that should be.

The same work with stream fishes is easier, on balance. But it's a big
country... and I know for a fact that BG could show us some hairy sampling
sites in Louisiana.

And Ray may well be right, F. dispar in WI may deserve delisting when it's
true range is known to the state agency. Starhead topminnows can be a bitch
to sample in a lot of places(!).

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL, US of A

>Subject: NANFA-- RE: Collecting ethics
>Date: Sun, 11 Jan 2004 16:11:12 EST
>Hi Nanfan's!
>In many references that I've read and studied, many species that are in our
>native streams are not fully understood or sampled by professional wildlife
>professionals mainly due to time and budget restraints; but also due to the
>difficulty in performing an all inclusive study of said habitat simply due
>to the
>inhospitable terrain to our human incapabilities.
>In my state, there are physical restraints and many natural eco-systems
>would tax even the most experienced scientists who would love to do such a
>comprehensive study of the thickly forested and often flooded habitats
>which can
>cover thousands of square miles in any season of the year! Much sampling is
>done at low water and within easy access of roads and otherwise near urban
>communities as Ray Wolff pointed out. Not to mention the cottonmouth and
>snakes and the American Alligator which all tend to leave one's resolve
>somewhat lacking in many areas of our country.
>While I agree with the species of special concern ranking for some of
>perhaps there are some who know better, simply by observing the actual
>abundance of some of these species that may be not fully funded for study
>by the
>interested entities; be it state, university or other concerns. If I may
>there are many un-educated naturalists whom would be interested in sharing
>their common knowledge with those professionals who would truly be
>interested in
>our experience and expertise for the betterment of knowledge and
>of all species.
>Some of our best information on life history, feeding, spawning of native
>fishes have come from NANFA members, where officialy published books have
>or very little information! Kudo's to our naturalists who share their
>and time to help establish a data base on the most overlooked species in
>America! Thanks Nanfan's!
>If anyone takes issue with any of my statements, please contact me off-line
>and I'll be glad to respond to your query.
>Swimmingly yours,
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