This week EEB welcomes Maggie Boothroyd from the Department of Biology, Trent University:
Assessment of demographic and genetics juvenile lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) following an adult reintroduction (translocation) effort in a fragmented river system
Lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) experienced historical overharvest across their distribution, leading to endangered species listings and subsequent protection and recovery efforts. Despite protections from harvest and habitat degradation, many populations do not appear to be recovering, which has been attributed to habitat alteration and fragmentation by dams. Reintroductions and translocation have the potential to assist recovery of lake sturgeon populations by partly mitigating fragmentation and dispersal barriers created by dams, and enabling recolonization of areas that would otherwise be inaccessible. In 2002, 51 adult lake sturgeon from the Little Long section of the Mattagami River were relocated 340 km upstream to a fragmented 35-km stretch of the river between two generating stations, where they were believed to be extirpated. This study is an assessment of the adult translocation reintroduction effort, which includes a genetic assessment, identification of spawning grounds, and a spawning migration analysis. Since the reintroduction, catches of juvenile lake sturgeon have increased over time, with 150 juveniles being caught within the duration of this study. The results indicate that the reintroduction effort was successful, with evidence of successful spawning and the presence of juvenile lake sturgeon within the reintroduction site. The preliminary genetic results indicate reintroduced individuals are parents of juveniles within the population. Overall, the results suggest adult translocations may be a useful tool for re-establishing other extirpated lake sturgeon populations.
The EEB Seminars run weekly, on Thursdays, in the EEB Lounge of the BioSciences Complex, Room 4338, from 12:30-1:30pm. Light refreshments are served starting at 12:15.