Cape Fear Shiner

Notropis mekistocholas

Where is this fish found?

The Cape Fear shiner is generally associated with gravel, cobble, and boulder substrates, and has been observed in slow pools, riffles, and slow runs. These areas occasionally support water willow, which may be used as cover or protection from predators. They are mostly found at the Cape Fear River.

Why are they Endangered?

the Cape Fear shiner is threatened with habitat loss and degradation. The species’ habitat becomes unsuitable when flow or water levels change from dams or other stream alterations. These isolate shiners into small pockets of suitable habitat, thus making them vulnerable to extirpation.


What has been done to Protect this Fish?

The actions to be taken include protection of the species and its habitat, biological and ecological studies, and public awareness. The researchers examined evidence of small population effects due to low fish abundance and population trends to determine if population sizes have always been small. Gene flow between populations is assessed based on heterogeneity of allele distributions. Genetic diversity and small population effects do not seem to be of concern in the Cape Fear shiner. However, signs of reduced gene flow were evident, suggesting population separation from dams may be affecting the populations. Significant separation reduces the amount of gene flow between populations thus making them vulnerable to loss of heterozygosity.
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By: McKenzie Autry