The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) had assessed the Spotted Gar (Lepisosteus oculatus) as Threatened in Canada (2005). Here we present population modelling to assess allowable harm, determine population-based recovery targets, and conduct long-term projections of population recovery in support of a recovery potential assessment (RPA). Our analyses demonstrated that the dynamics of Spotted Gar populations are particularly sensitive to perturbations that affect survival of immature individuals. Harm to this portion of the life cycle should be minimized to avoid jeopardizing the survival and future recovery of Canadian populations. Based on an objective of demographic sustainability (i.e., a self-sustaining population over the long term), we propose abundance recovery targets of at least 1400 adult Spotted Gar. In the absence of mitigating efforts or additional harm, we estimate that a growing Spotted Gar population will take approximately 65 years to reach this recovery target if starting from a population of 140 adults. However, affecting at least a 10% increase in the survival of immature individuals can reduce the recovery time of a population by more than half.
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