Species Profile

Rocky Mountain Sculpin Missouri River populations

Scientific Name: Cottus sp.
Taxonomy Group: Fishes
COSEWIC Range: Alberta
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: November 2019
COSEWIC Status: Threatened
COSEWIC Status Criteria: Meets criteria for Endangered, B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii), but designated Threatened, B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii), because the species is not at risk of imminent extirpation.
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: This small freshwater fish has a very restricted area of occurrence in the Milk and North Milk Rivers in southern Alberta, where it has been impacted by invasive species, habitat loss, and degradation from water diversion. These conditions have been exacerbated in recent years by drought conditions likely related to climate change and water management activities. While meeting criteria for Endangered, this species was designated Threatened because the primary threats are not likely to lead to extirpation in the short term.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: The species was considered a single population unit (Eastslope populations) and designated Threatened in November 2005. When the species was split into separate units in November 2019, the "Missouri River populations" unit was designated Threatened.
SARA Status: No schedule, No Status
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd): 2006-08-15

No schedule - No Status

Individuals of this species may be protected under Schedule 1 under another name; for more information see Schedule 1, the A-Z Species List, or if applicable, the Related Species table below.

Please note that this information is provided for general information purposes only. For the most up to date and accurate list of species listed under the Species at Risk Act, please see the Justice Laws Website.

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Related Species

Species COSEWIC
Status
SARA
Status
Rocky Mountain Sculpin ( Eastslope populations ) Non-active Threatened

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Protection

Federal Protection

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.

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Documents

PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

3 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Rocky Mountain Sculpin (Cottus sp.) Pacific populations Saskatchewan - Nelson River populations Missouri River populations in Canada (2020-10-21)

    Rocky Mountain Sculpin is a small freshwater sculpin found only in three watersheds in Canada. Historically, its taxonomy has been in dispute, but recent genetic and morphological findings suggest that Rocky Mountain Sculpin is a distinct sculpin species that has yet to be formally described. Rocky Mountain Sculpin represents an important component of the genetic diversity found in the western sculpin complex. Further, the distribution of Rocky Mountain Sculpin is unlike any other freshwater fish. Within the Flathead River system there appear to be multiple independent zones where Slimy Sculpin and Rocky Mountain Sculpin come in contact and hybridize. Such a large number of replicate hybridization zones in this small area is interesting from an evolutionary biology perspective. Note: This COSEWIC assessment was received by the Minister on September 2, 2020.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Rocky Mountain Sculpin, Missouri River populations (2020-12-02)

    This small freshwater fish has a very restricted area of occurrence in the Milk and North Milk Rivers in southern Alberta, where it has been impacted by invasive species, habitat loss, and degradation from water diversion. These conditions have been exacerbated in recent years by drought conditions likely related to climate change and water management activities. While meeting criteria for Endangered, this species was designated Threatened because the primary threats are not likely to lead to extirpation in the short term.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report 2019 to 2020 (2020-09-02)

    Over the past year COSEWIC assessed a total of 21 wildlife species, none of which were assigned a status of Not at Risk. Of these 21, COSEWIC re-examined the status of nine wildlife species; of these, 44% were reassessed at the same or lower level of risk. To date and with the submission of this report, COSEWIC’s assessments now include 810 wildlife species in various risk categories including 363 Endangered, 190 Threatened, 235 Special Concern, and 22 Extirpated (i.e. no longer found in the wild in Canada). In addition, 19 wildlife species have been assessed as Extinct, 59 wildlife species have been designated as Data Deficient, and 198 have been assessed as Not at Risk.
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