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Endangered Species Program
Conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems
Pallid sturgeon are bottom dwelling, slow growing fish that feed primarily on small fish and immature aquatic insects. This species of sturgeon is seldom seen and is one of the least understood fish in the Missouri and Mississippi River drainages. It is an ancient species that has existed since the days of the dinosaurs.
The pallid sturgeon experienced a dramatic decline throughout its range since the mid to late 1960's. Nearly all of its habitat has been modified through river channelization,
The pallid sturgeon was listed as endangered in 1990 and recovery efforts include research to learn more about its life history and habitat requirements, artificial propagation to improve its numbers, habitat improvement and reducing mortality from commercial fishing.
Natural History and Regulatory Information
September 1, 2010: Threatened Status for Shovelnose Sturgeon Under the Similarity of Appearance Provisions of the Endangered Species Act - - Pallid sturgeon listed to protected pallid sturgeon by treating shovelnose sturgeon as a threatened species where their ranges overlap.
Species Profile (links to National U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service web pages)
January 2014 - Revised Recovery Plan for the Pallid Sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus) 126-page PDF; 3MB
Dec. 13, 2012 - All Hail King Pallid! Recovery Update
2009 Recovery Land Acquisition Grant: Acquisition of Marquette Island, an important resource for pallid sturgeon and interior least tern recovery on the Middle Mississippi River (Cape Girardeau County, Missouri)
Non-traditional S7 Grant: Windy Bar Island Acquisition (Cape Girardeau County, MO): $483,504 - May 2007
Last updated: October 10, 2018