Occupancy and abundance of the endangered yellowcheek darter in Arkansas

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The Yellowcheek Darter (Etheostoma moorei) is a rare fish endemic to the Little Red River watershed in the Boston Mountains of northern Arkansas. Remaining populations of this species are geographically isolated and declining, and the species was listed in 2011 as federally endangered. Populations have declined, in part, due to intense seasonal stream drying and inundation of lower reaches by a reservoir. We used a kick seine sampling approach to examine distribution and abundance of Yellowcheek Darter populations in the Middle Fork and South Fork Little Red River. We used presence data to estimate occupancy rates and detection probability and examined relationships between Yellowcheek Darter density and environmental variables. The species was found at five Middle Fork and South Fork sites where it had previously been present in 2003–2004. Occupancy rates were >0.6 but with wide 95% CI, and where the darters occurred, densities were typical of other Ozark darters but highly variable. Detection probability and density were positively related to current velocity. Given that stream drying has become more extreme over the past 30 years and anthropogenic threats have increased, regular monitoring and active management may be required to reduce extinction risk of Yellowcheek Darter populations.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Occupancy and abundance of the endangered yellowcheek darter in Arkansas
Series title Copeia
DOI 10.1643/CE-14-116
Volume 103
Issue 2
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Atlanta
Description 7 p.
First page 433
Last page 439
Country United States
State Arkansas
Other Geospatial Middle Fork and South Fork Little Red River
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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