Partners Propose Topeka Shiner Reintroduction in Missouri
By Georgia Parham
Among the activities that are being carried out to help the Topeka shiner is a proposal to reintroduce the fish in northern Missouri. The Service published a proposal to establish a non-essential experimental population in partnership with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), as part of an effort to restore populations in Missouri. The reintroductions would be carried out on lands managed by MDC and TNC.
The non-essential, experimental population of Topeka shiners is proposed for Adair, Gentry, Harrison, Putnam, Sullivan and Worth counties in northern Missouri. This designation gives wildlife managers more flexibility in working with the reintroduced Topeka shiners and provides nearby private landowners with reassurance that the presence of a protected species will not affect their activities.
The Topeka shiner is a small minnow that lives in small to mid-size prairie streams in the central United States where it is usually found in pool and run areas. Suitable streams tend to have good water quality and cool to moderate temperatures.
Populations of the Topeka shiner have steadily declined, and the species now occupies only about 19 percent of its historical habitat, and only 15 percent of its former range in Missouri. The Topeka shiner was designated a federally endangered species in 1998. Threats to the species include habitat destruction, sedimentation, and changes in water quality.