Re: NANFA-- re: Why it's tougher out west...

Dave Neely (
Sun, 19 Sep 1999 23:26:18 CDT

>What fish(es) have been collected "to extinction?"

Yes, I realize this was intended for Jay, but this is a fun one and I need a
break from studying Russian.

Let's go down the lost of North American taxa gone for good and see which
ones were overcollected...

Lampetra minima- nope, rotenoned into oblivion by the Oregon Dept of Fish
and Game. Lake's got a goooood trout population now, though...

Coregonus alpenae- nope, commercial overfishing, sea lamprey predation, and
nutrient enrichment of the Great Lakes.

Coregonus johannae- same as above.

Coregonus kiyi orientalis- same as above.

Coregonus nigripinnis- same as above, but may still exist in some lakes
in Minnesota (per conversation w/ Dave Etnier)

Oncorhynchus clarki macdonaldi- nope, establishment of non-native salmonids
probable factor.

O. sp. cf. clarki (Alvord)- nope, establishment of nn salmonids,

Salvelinus agassizi- nope, commercial and recreational harvest, plus
introduction of nn salmonids

Cyprinella lutrensis blairi- nope, introduction of Fundulus zebrinus?

Evarra spp. - nope, diversion of water for agricultural practices.

Gila sp. cf bicolor "isolata" - nope, introduction of Lepomis, Micropterus,
Cyprinus, etc.

Gila crassicauda- nope, habitat loss and alteration

Notropis amecae- nope, habitat loss and alteration

Notropis aulidion- nope, habitat loss and alteration

Notropis orca-nope, habitat loss and alteration

Notropis simus- nope, habitat loss and alteration, although Sut got the last
one ;)

Pogonichthys ciscoides- nope, eutrophication of Clear Lake.

Rhinichthys sp cf cataractae "smithi"- multiple exotics introduced\

Rhinichthys deaconi- nope, somebody built a city in the desert...

Rhinichthys sp cf osculus "reliquus"- introduction of salmonids, use of
water for irrigation

Stypodon signifer- nope, habitat degradation

Chasmistes liorus- introgression w/ Catostomus ardens

Chasmistes muriei- who knows? It disappeared with only one specimen known.

Lagochila lacera- Hypothesized habitat alteration

Cyprinodon latifasciatus- habitat alteration

Cyprinodon nevadensis calidae- habitat alteration + damnbusia

Cyprinodon sp. (Monkey Spring) + unique form of Gila intermedia-
introduction of Micropterus, habitat alteration.

Empetrichthys latos concavus- carp and habitat destruction

E. l. pahrump- same as above

E. merriami- habitat alteration, bullfrog introduction?

Fundulus albolineatus- habitat alteration

Allotoca maculata- ?

Characodon garmani- habitat alteration

Gambusia amistadensis- introgression w/ affinis

G. georgei- introgression w/ affinis

Stizostedion glaucum (?)- overfishing, eutrophication of Lake Erie. Recent
"records" have not been substantiated by voucher specimens.

Cottus echinatus (an amazingly cool sculpin)- habitat degradation.
source for above data: Williams et al 1989. Fisheries 14:22-38

There are others. Some of the more notable "probable losses":

Noturus trautmani- not seen since late 1950s. Etheostoma sellare- last seen
winter 1989, large liquid manure spill upstream of locality that winter.
Overcollection may have been a factor- a very large series was taken from
the Deer Creek site in the 1970s... possibly Erimystax cahni, last reported
sighting 1991? Elassoma sp cf alabamae- downstreammost population (Cave
Spring) was wiped out with impoundment of Wheeler Reservoir in 1960s.
Morphologically, specimens from this population don't plot w/ upstream
populations in a sheared PCA (see original description).

How many things have we lost that we didn't even know were there...

Anyway, the obvious point is that the big killer is habitat loss. With some
of the spring-inhabiting cyprinodonts and such, overcollecting is probably a
valid concern. As for the argument that getting these things into aquaria is
the only thing that's going to save them, I disagree. Look at the number of
cardinal tetras that gets taken from the wild every year (I heard the rough
figure 16,000,000- a guy in our lab is working on them). I don't see folks
rushing down to Brazil to fight for more stringent habitat protection
measures because they've kept a few tetras... Conserving intact habitats is
the only logical and viable solution.


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