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Darters: Living Jewels in Arkansas Streams

Dustin Lynch, Aquatic Ecologist from ANHC
on Zoom at 2:00 pm
From Dustin Lynch: Arkansas is home to an incredible group of fish as beautiful as anything you’d find living on a tropical coral reef or in the Amazon River. Despite their astonishing diversity of colors, patterns, and forms, the darters (Family Percidae: Subfamily Etheostomatinae) are largely unknown to the general public. This may be in part due to their size – most species are only a few inches long, living in shallow, fast flowing water, where they can be easily overlooked. About 50 species of these beautiful fish are found in Arkansas, although this number has continued to increase as new species are described. These diminutive creatures often dwell in the fast-flowing riffles of high gradient mountain streams, where they exhibit a remarkable array of adaptations to life in the continuous tumult. With their bright, flashy colors and rapid movements, darters have been called the “hummingbirds of the fish world”. Unfortunately, a host of issues ranging from pollution, sedimentation, rising stream temperatures, and habitat fragmentation due to construction of dams and other barriers have led to sharp declines in many darter species. In this presentation, I will give an overview of this group, including a photographic slide show of many of the species found here in Arkansas. I will also present case studies of some of the more imperiled darter species in the state, the unique challenges facing them, and efforts by the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission and many other partners to conserve them.
Tuesday, January 18, 2022, 2:00 PM until 3:00 PM

Additional Info:
Event Contact(s):
Karen Moulton
Education - Continuing
Registration is required
Payment In Full In Advance Only
No Fee