Saturday, 13 September 2008


Escalating Endangerment for North American Freshwater Fish: Nearly 40
Percent now 'At-Risk'

Nearly 40 percent of fish species in North American streams, rivers
and lakes are now in jeopardy, according to the most detailed
evaluation of the conservation status of freshwater fishes in the
last 20 years.

The 700 fishes now listed represent a staggering 92 percent increase
over the 364 listed as "imperiled" in the previous 1989 study
published by the American Fisheries Society. Researchers classified
each of the 700 fishes listed as either vulnerable (230), threatened
(190), or endangered (280). In addition, 61 fishes are presumed

The new report, published in Fisheries, was conducted by a U.S.
Geological Survey-led team of scientists from the United States,
Canada and Mexico, who examined the status of continental freshwater
and diadromous (those that migrate between rivers and oceans) fish.

"Freshwater fish have continued to decline since the late 1970s, with
the primary causes being habitat loss, dwindling range and
introduction of non-native species," said Mark Myers, director of the
USGS. "In addition, climate change may further affect these fish."

This is the third compilation of imperiled, freshwater and diadromous
fishes of North America prepared by the American Fisheries Society's
Endangered Species Committee. Additional information is available at

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