U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Southeast Region News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                    Vicki M. Boatwright or

July 2, 1996                    Diana M. Hawkins



The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public input on a revised draft plan to aid in recovering populations of a small endangered freshwater fish, said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Southeast Regional Director, Noreen K. Clough.

The palezone shiner, which was listed April 27, 1993, as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, is a small fish that grows to approximately 3 inches in length, inhabits small rivers and is believed to have once been widespread within the Tennessee and Cumberland River drainages. Today, however, it is found only in two widely separated locations, one in the Paint Rock River, a Tennessee River tributary in Jackson County, Alabama; and another in the Little South Fork of the Cumberland River in Wayne and McCreary counties, Kentucky.

The populations of this species have been fragmented by the construction of impoundments on the rivers and by the use of poor agriculture and coal mining land-use practices, which have caused siltation and have introduced pollutants into the rivers. The species' present limited distribution makes it particularly vulnerable to loss from a toxic chemical spill.

The draft recovery plan, Clough said, calls for the species to be reclassified to threatened status once the following goals have been achieved: (1) through protection and enhancement of the existing populations, viable populations of the palezone shiner exist in the Little South Fork of the Cumberland River and in the Paint Rock River; (2) studies of the fish's biological and ecological requirements have been completed and the implementation of management strategies, developed from these studies, have been successful in increasing the number and range of the palezone shiner in these rivers; and (3) no foreseeable threats exist that would likely threaten the existence of a significant portion of the species' range in either of these rivers. Once final, the plan will provide the necessary guidance to groups and individuals in the public and private sectors to aid in recovering this species.

The Service will collect written public comments on this recovery plan over the next 60 days. Copies of the proposed plan may be obtained from the Service by writing to the Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Asheville Field Office, 160 Zillicoa Street, Asheville, North Carolina 28801, or by calling 704/258-3939.

X X X Release #96-47

1996 News Releases

Go to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region Home Page