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Research Document - 2011/048

Information in support of a Recovery Potential Assessment of Lake Chubsucker (Erimyzon sucetta) in Canada

By L.D. Bouvier and N.E. Mandrak


In April 1994, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) recommended that Lake Chubsucker (Erimyzon sucetta) be designated as a species of Special Concern. This status was re-assessed as Threatened in November 2001. When re-examined in November 2008, Lake Chubsucker status was changed to Endangered. The reason given for this designation was that the Lake Chubsucker is “a species with a restricted geographic Canadian range with small extant populations having very specific and narrow habitat preferences, which are under continued stress. It is extremely susceptible to habitat change driven by urban, industrial and agricultural practices resulting in increased turbidity. Two populations have been lost, and of the 11 extant populations, 3 are in serious decline as a result of the continuing and increasing threats posed by agricultural, industrial and urban development that are expected to impact the remaining populations of Lakes Erie and St. Clair.” Lake Chubsucker was listed on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) when the Act was proclaimed in June 2003. Lake Chubsucker is now listed as Endangered on Schedule 1. The Recovery Potential Assessment (RPA) provides information and scientific advice needed to fulfill various requirements of SARA including permitting activities that would otherwise violate SARA prohibitions and the development of recovery strategies. This research document describes the current state of knowledge on the biology, ecology, distribution, population trends, habitat requirements, and threats to Lake Chubsucker. Mitigation measures and alternative activities related to the identified threats, that can be used to protect the species, are also presented. The information contained in the RPA science advisory report and this document may be used to inform the development of recovery documents and for assessing SARA Section 73 permit applications.  

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