[acn-l] NANFA-- Alabama sturgeon--URGENT! READ NOW! (fwd)

peter.unmack at asu.edu
Fri, 10 Sep 1999 08:28:48 -0700 (MST)

of interest

Dear NANFA members and native fish enthusiasts,

Today (Sept. 10) is the final day for public comments regarding the US Fish &
Wildlife Service proposal to list the Alabama sturgeon as an endangered species.
This propsoal is being fought tooth & nail by big business. They're trying to
convince USFWS that the Alabama sturgeon is not taxonomically distinct from the
shovelnose sturgeon, and therefore cannot be protected. They've even hired
statisticians and mathematicians, who are not fish taxonomists, to "prove" the
Alabama sturgeon is not distinct. There's no time to go into all the complex
details, but serious ichthyologists think this is complete crap. To wit:

A resolution at the 1995 annual meetings of the American Society of
Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (Copeia 1995:1014-1049) distinguishes that
"the Alabama sturgeon is a valid and distinct species" and "urges the US Fish
and Wildlife Service to list the Alabama sturgeon as an endangered species" (p.

Boschung (1992) and Mayden et al. (1992) list S. suttkusi in a catalog of fishes
of Alabama and freshwater fishes of North America, respectively.

Eschmeyer (1998) identifies S. suttkusi as "Valid" in his catalog of fishes.

State fish books for Alabama (Mettee et al 1996) and Mississippi (Ross and
Brenneman in press) consider the Alabama sturgeon a distinct species.

Birstein et al. (1997) includes S. suttkusi in a list of all sturgeon species,
and notes that it is listed as Critically Endangered by CITES (Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).

The Southern Fishes Council Technical Advisory Committee (Warren et al in prep)
recognizes the Alabama sturgeon as Endangered in its list of southern freshwater

Sturgeon life history studies by Bemis and Kynard (1997) and Keenlyne (1997)
also distinguish S. suttkusi as a distinct species.

(Full references are available upon request.)

PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT NOW to send an email to the USFWS saying that you believe
there is unanimous support in the scientific community for the recognition of
the Alabama sturgeon as a distinct species that is Endangered.

Send this email to Paul Hartfield (Paul_Hartfield at fws.gov). Do it by end of
business EST today!

Thank you!

Christopher Scharpf

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