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Examination of speckled dace abundance, biology, and habitat in the Canadian range

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The Speckled dace, Rhinichthys osculus, a small cyprinid species, was listed as endangered under the Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA) in 2009. This species exists throughout the western United States, but in Canada it lives in the Kettle, West Kettle, and Granby Rivers in southern British Columbia (BC). I conducted field work in 2008 to assess the abundance, range, biology, and habitat use of this species. I estimated that there were 940,000 mature Speckled dace (90% confidence interval 412,000 – 1,955,000) in the watershed in 2008, a much larger number than previous estimates. I found that the species is longer-lived than previously thought, up to age 7-years. I recommend that the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and the BC Conservation Data Centre re-assess this species, and that a procedure for setting conservation priorities be developed within SARA, similar to the BC Conservation Framework.
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