Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Gravel dredging, bank erosion, and the construction of low water crossings threaten this fish by altering its habitat. Degraded water quality due to discharge of organic wastes may be an additional threat.
The Missouri Department of Conservation has protected a section of stream habitat occupied by the Niangua darter and is working with landowners to stabilize eroding stream banks. As a member of the National Pesticide Consultation Team, the Fish and Wildlife Service contributed recommendations pursuant to a biological opinion that evaluated the effects of 31 pesticides on all listed species. The Service issued a few no-jeopardy biological opinions for probable impacts of some of the chemicals on the Niangua darter. Buffer zones were recommended as reasonable and prudent measures to minimize incidental take.
Recovery needs include monitoring the abundance and distribution of the Niangua darter throughout its range; improving coordination efforts among Federal, State, municipal, and private entities to prevent habitat alteration within designated critical habitat; expanding partnerships with landowners through cooperative agreements; and researching the effects of substrate destabilization, increased sedimentation, removal of woody vegetation from stream banks, and higher levels of organic wastes on the reproduction of Niangua darters.
Missouri Department of Conservation: The Department is actively involved in protecting habitat and increasing public awareness about the plight of the Niangua darter. The Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department established a cooperative agreement to facilitate recovery efforts for the species, using a challenge grant to fund a public outreach program to protect and restore habitat on private lands. The Department is developing a Niangua darter videotape that will be an important outreach tool.
Plan approved 7/17/89.