Freshwater Crayfish 25(1): 47-57 (2020)
PEER REVIEWED RESEARCH ARTICLE
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Preliminary investigation of the critically imperiled Caney Mountain cave crayfish Orconectes stygocaneyi Hobbs III, 2001 (Decapoda: Cambaridae) in Missouri, USA
Published Online: 4/17/2020
The Caney Mountain cave crayfish (Orconectes stygocaneyi) is one of North America's rarest crayfish, endemic to one cave in southern Missouri, USA. The species is listed as 'critically imperiled' by Missouri, and 'threatened' by the American Fisheries Society. Previously, only 15 crayfish have been observed in Mud Cave, and only two have been collected (for original species description). We aimed to collect the first natural history data on the species and search adjacent caves and springs for additional populations. Twelve visual searches and supplemental trapping over four years, in all seasons, yielded 69 O. stygocaneyi (including 11 young-of-year) observations and capture of 22 crayfish, including one ovigerous female. Visual searches of nearby caves and springs yielded no O. stygocaneyi records. However, multiple surveys of those caves and springs, using environmental DNA detected the species in one additional cave adjacent to Mud Cave, but only during spring high flow events when the caves may be ephemerally connected. Orconectes stygocaneyi's distribution is among the most restricted of any North American crayfish, and further evaluation of its conservation status designations might be warranted. Long term conservation of O. stygocaneyi would benefit from management practices promoting sustained, unimpacted surface runoff within Mud Cave's recharge area.
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How to Cite
DiStefano RJ, Ashley D, Brewer SK, Mouser JB and Neimiller M. (2020). Preliminary investigation of the critically imperiled Caney Mountain cave crayfish Orconectes stygocaneyi Hobbs III, 2001 (Decapoda: Cambaridae) in Missouri, USA. Freshwater Crayfish 25(1):47-57. doi: 10.5869/fc.2020.v25-1.047
Robert J. DiStefano,* Resource Science Division, Missouri Department of Conservation, Resource Science Center, 3500 East Gans Road,Columbia, Missouri, USA65201. E-mail: Bob.DiStefano@mdc.mo.gov
David Ashley, Biology Department, Missouri Western University, 237 Agenstein Hall, St. Joseph, Missouri, USA64507. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Shannon K. Brewer, Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, , Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA74078. E-mail: email@example.com
Joshua B. Mouser, Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, , Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA74078. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt Niemiller, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alabama - Huntsville, Shelby Center for Science and Technology, Huntsville, Alabama, USA35899. E-mail: email@example.com
Corresponding Author indicated by an *.
Manuscript Submitted: 12/18/2019
Manuscript Accepted: 4/16/2020
Published Online: 4/17/2020
Published in Print: 4/30/2020
No specific funding statement is available for this article.