Species Profile

Vananda Creek Benthic Threespine Stickleback

Scientific Name: Gasterosteus aculeatus
Other/Previous Names: Vananda Creek Benthic Stickleback ,Gasterosteus sp.
Taxonomy Group: Fishes
COSEWIC Range: British Columbia
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: April 2010
COSEWIC Status: Endangered
COSEWIC Status Criteria: A3e
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: This small freshwater fish is a unique Canadian endemic that is restricted to three small, interconnected lakes in coastal British Columbia (BC). The wildlife species is highly susceptible to extinction from aquatic invasive species introductions that have been observed to cause rapid extinction of similar species in at least two other lakes. Invasive aquatic species continue to increase in lakes on adjacent Vancouver Island and the lower mainland of BC, and there is, therefore, a reasonable likelihood that invasives could be introduced into the habitat of the species over the next 10 years. This species is also susceptible to habitat loss and degradation from water extraction and land use activities in the surrounding landscape.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Threatened in April 1999. Status re-examined and designated Endangered in May 2000. Status re-examined and confirmed in April 2010.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Endangered
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd): 2003-06-05

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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Quick Links: | Photo | Description | Distribution and Population | Habitat | Biology | Threats | Protection | Recovery Initiatives | Recovery Team | National Recovery Program | Documents

Image of Vananda Creek Benthic Threespine Stickleback

Vananda Creek Benthic Threespine Stickleback Photo 1

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Description

Vananda Creek Benthic and Limnetic Threespine Sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) are one of several unique Stickleback Species Pairs that live in sympatry. Two species are sympatric when they exist in the same area and evolved together from a common ancestor. The two species of Vananda Creek Sticklebacks descended from the marine Threespine Stickleback and evolved into separate species by living in different habitats. The Vananda Creek Stickleback Species Pair consists of a Benthic and a Limnetic form. The Benthic species lives in nearshore areas, and the Limnetic species lives in open water. The divergence from their common ancestor is thought to have occurred because of the limited competition and predation in the habitat. Habitat or environmental changes can disrupt mating barriers within a species pair and lead to a collapse of the pair into a single hybrid population. Hybrids occur naturally at a low rate. The Vananda Creek Benthic Stickleback is around 85 millimetres long and larger than the Limnetic species. It has a robust and deep body, a wide mouth, and few short gill rakers. Both species of Vananda Creek Sticklebacks have delicate fins, spines on their back and sides, and plate-like armour to protect them from predators. Body colour varies from silvery to mottled green and brown. Sexually mature males may develop red colouration on the throat, or in some cases turn completely black. (Updated 2017/07/19)

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Distribution and Population

The Vananda Creek Stickleback Species Pair is found in three lakes in the Vananda Creek watershed on Texada Island, British Columbia, Canada. These lakes are Spectacle Lake (also known as Balkwill Lake), Priest Lake, and Emily Lake (also known as Turtle Lake). The pair is also likely to use the streams and marshes connecting the lakes. The Benthic and Limnetic species exist as separate designatable units. (Updated 2017/07/19)

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Habitat

Vananda Creek Benthic Sticklebacks live in nearshore habitat. They are a bottom dwelling fish. Both Limnetic and Benthic species nest in nearshore beaches. Vananda Creek Benthic Sticklebacks prefer to nest under the protection of aquatic plants. Natural light is necessary for the species to recognize their mates. Both Benthic and Limnetic fry use nearshore habitat with aquatic plants to feed and hide. Juvenile and adult Vananda Creek Benthic Sticklebacks remain nearshore while Limnetics move to open water. Both Benthic and Limnetic species overwinter in deeper water. Specific environmental factors within Spectacle Lake, Priest Lake and Emily Lake likely maintain the reproductive isolation between the two forms, preventing significant hybridization and potential collapse. (Updated 2017/07/19)

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Biology

The Vananda Creek Benthic Sticklebacks generally reproduce earlier in the year and prefer to nest in less open habitat than the Limnetic species. These barriers and mate recognition result in little hybridization. Vananda Creek Benthic Stickleback males construct nests. Females produce several clutches of eggs. Benthic females tend to produce fewer egg clutches than Limnetic females. Males mate with several females and may nest more than once in one breeding season. Eggs take up to one week to hatch into larvae. The larvae are free-swimming after another three to five days. Male Vananda Creek Sticklebacks guard their nests until fry are about one week old. Vananda Creek Benthic Sticklebacks mature at two years old, one year later than the Limnetic species. They can survive through several breeding seasons. Adults, juveniles and fry feed on inshore invertebrates from the lake bottom. Their mouths are adapted for this feeding style. Predators of Vananda Creek Benthic Stickleback include Coastal Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii clarkii),and fish-eating birds such as Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias), Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) and Common Loon (Gavia immer). Young Vananda Creek Benthic Sticklebacks are also preyed on by invertebrates. (Updated 2017/07/19)

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Threats

The primary threats to the Vananda Creek Stickleback Species Pair include invasive species, water management, habitat loss or degradation from land use, collections for research, recreational activities, and disease. Stickleback Species Pairs have specific needs and are very sensitive to changes in habitat and environmental factors. Changes can disrupt the mating barriers between the Stickleback Species Pair and collapse the species pair into a single hybrid population. Invasive species may disrupt the simple fish communities required by the Vananda Creek Stickleback Species Pair. In recent decades, introduced species caused the extinction of at least two Stickleback Species Pairs. Water management and land use may have an impact on the Vananda Creek environment. Water level reductions from water extraction could directly reduce habitat. Land use such as mining, forestry, and development around the Vananda Creek watershed could reduce riparian cover, increase pollution and increase sedimentation. Riparian vegetation is important for regulating water temperature and food availability. Sedimentation and pollution can alter aquatic vegetation and water clarity, which could decrease mate recognition and increase hybridization. (Updated 2017/07/19)

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Protection

Federal Protection

The Vananda Creek Benthic Threespine Stickleback is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.

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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Recovery Initiatives

Status of Recovery Planning

Recovery Strategies :

Name Recovery Strategy for Paxton Lake, Enos Lake, and Vananda Creek Stickleback Species Pairs (Gasterosteus spp.) in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry

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Recovery Team

Pacific Region Species at Risk Program - Vananda Creek Benthic Threespine Stickleback

  • DFO Pacific Region - MPO région du Pacifique - Chair/Contact - Fisheries and Oceans Canada
     Send Email

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Recovery Progress and Activities

The Vananda Creek Benthic Stickleback was assessed as Endangered by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada in May 2000. This status was reconfirmed in April 2010. The species was listed under the Species at Risk Act in June 2003. A Recovery Strategy that addresses the Paxton Lake, Enos Lake and Vananda Creek Stickleback Species Pairs was posted in 2007. The Recovery Strategy identifies threats, population and distribution objectives and broad approaches to recovery for the six species. A proposed Action Plan for the Paxton Lake and Vananda Creek Stickleback Species Pairs was posted in 2016. It describes critical habitat and identifies ways to implement recovery measures. Government agencies, stewardship groups (e.g. Texada Stickleback Group Association) and universities such as the University of British Columbia and Michigan State University continue to carry out research to fill knowledge gaps on the Vananda Creek Stickleback Species Pair. They also contribute to outreach and education activities, and management activities towards the recovery of Stickleback Species Pairs. In 2013, the British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations established a Wildlife Habitat Area for Vananda Creek Stickleback Species Pairs to aid in habitat protection. Scientific collection guidelines for Stickleback Species Pairs were developed in 2008, with the aim to mitigate impacts of research activities. (Updated 2017/07/19)

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.

28 record(s) found.

Reports on the Progress of Recovery Document Implementation

  • Report on the Progress of Recovery Strategy Implementation for the Paxton Lake, Enos Lake, and Vananda Creek Stickleback Species Pairs (Gasterosteus aculeatus) in Canada for the Period 2007 – 2015 (2016-10-12)

    The Paxton Lake and Vananda Creek Stickleback Species Pairs were assessed as Endangered in 2000, and again in 2010 by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC 2010a and 2010b). The Enos Lake Stickleback Species Pair was assessed as Endangered in 2002, and again in 2012 (COSEWIC 2012). The Enos Lake, Paxton Lake, and Vananda Creek Stickleback Species Pairs were listed under the Species at Risk Act as Endangered in June of 2003. In October of 2007 the final Recovery Strategy for Paxton Lake, Enos Lake, and Vananda Creek Stickleback Species Pairs (Gasterosteus spp.) in Canada (NRTSSP 2007) was posted to the Species at Risk Public Registry. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, in cooperation with the Province of British Columbia’s Ministry of Environment, is developing an Action Plan for the Paxton Lake and Vananda Creek Stickleback Species Pairs as part of the Government of Canada’s ongoing commitment to the conservation of species at risk through the implementation of the Species at Risk Act.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Vananda Creek Benthic and Limnetic Threespine Stickleback Species Pair Gasterosteus aculeatus in Canada (2010-09-03)

    Vananda Creek Benthic and Limnetic Threespine Sticklebacks are distinct biological species derived from the Threespine Stickleback, but they have not been formally named. Limnetics primarily exploit plankton, and have traits that are considered adaptations to a zooplankton-consuming lifestyle. Benthics mainly eat benthic invertebrates in the littoral zone, and have a robust body form, wide gape and few, short gill rakers, traits considered to be advantageous in benthic feeding. Molecular genetic data strongly indicate that the pairs have arisen independently, despite similar appearance. Thus, a stickleback species pair from one watershed is genetically and evolutionarily distinct from pairs in other watersheds.

COSEWIC Assessments

  • COSEWIC Assessment Summary and Status Report: Vananda Creek Limnetic and Benthic Threespine Stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus (2010-09-03)

    Assessment Summary – April 2010 Common nameVananda Creek Limnetic Threespine Stickleback Scientific nameGasterosteus aculeatus StatusEndangered Reason for designationThis small freshwater fish is a unique Canadian endemic that is restricted to three small, interconnected lakes in coastal British Columbia (BC). The wildlife species is highly susceptible to extinction from aquatic invasive species introductions that have been observed to cause rapid extinction of similar species in at least two other lakes. Invasive aquatic species continue to increase in lakes on adjacent Vancouver Island and the lower mainland of BC, and there is, therefore, a reasonable likelihood that invasives could be introduced into the habitat of the species over the next 10 years. This species is also susceptible to habitat loss and degradation from water extraction and land use activities in the surrounding landscape. OccurrenceBritish Columbia Status historyDesignated Threatened in April 1999. Status re–examined and designated Endangered in May 2000. Status re–examined and confirmed in April 2010. Assessment Summary – April 2010 Common nameVananda Creek Benthic Threespine Stickleback Scientific nameGasterosteus aculeatus StatusEndangered Reason for designationThis small freshwater fish is a unique Canadian endemic that is restricted to three small, interconnected lakes in coastal British Columbia (BC). The wildlife species is highly susceptible to extinction from aquatic invasive species introductions that have been observed to cause rapid extinction of similar species in at least two other lakes. Invasive aquatic species continue to increase in lakes on adjacent Vancouver Island and the lower mainland of BC, and there is, therefore, a reasonable likelihood that invasives could be introduced into the habitat of the species over the next 10 years. This species is also susceptible to habitat loss and degradation from water extraction and land use activities in the surrounding landscape. OccurrenceBritish Columbia Status historyDesignated Threatened in April 1999. Status re–examined and designated Endangered in May 2000. Status re–examined and confirmed in April 2010.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Vananda Creek Benthic Threespine Stickleback (2010-12-02)

    This small freshwater fish is a unique Canadian endemic that is restricted to three small, interconnected lakes in coastal British Columbia (BC). The wildlife species is highly susceptible to extinction from aquatic invasive species introductions that have been observed to cause rapid extinction of similar species in at least two other lakes. Invasive aquatic species continue to increase in lakes on adjacent Vancouver Island and the lower mainland of BC, and there is, therefore, a reasonable likelihood that invasives could be introduced into the habitat of the species over the next 10 years. This species is also susceptible to habitat loss and degradation from water extraction and land use activities in the surrounding landscape.

Recovery Strategies

  • Recovery Strategy for Paxton Lake, Enos Lake, and Vananda Creek Stickleback Species Pairs (Gasterosteus spp.) in Canada (2019-08-21)

    The fish known collectively as “stickleback species pairs” are small, freshwater fish descended from the marine threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Their recent and unique evolutionary history has been of considerable scientific interest and value. Stickleback species pairs were known to exist in four watersheds in the Georgia Basin, British Columbia: two watersheds on Texada Island, and one each on Lasqueti and Vancouver Islands. Within the last decade the species pair on Lasqueti Island has been declared extinct, and the species pair in Enos Lake has collapsed into a single hybrid swarm. The present global range is therefore restricted to four small lakes in two watersheds on northern Texada Island.

Action Plans

Orders

  • Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act (volume 146, number 14, 2012) (2012-07-04)

    The purpose of the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act is to add 18 species to Schedule 1, the List of Wildlife Species at Risk (the List), and to reclassify 7 listed species, pursuant to subsection 27(1) of SARA. This amendment is made on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment based on scientific assessments by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and on consultations with governments, Aboriginal peoples, stakeholders and the Canadian public.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2010 (2010-09-03)

    Under Canada’s Species At Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”. During the past year, COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings and reviewed the status of 79 wildlife species (species, subspecies, populations). During the meeting of November 2009, COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of the status of 28 wildlife species. COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of an additional 51 wildlife species (species, subspecies and populations) during their April 2010 meeting. For species already found on Schedule 1 of SARA, the classification of 32 species was reviewed by COSEWIC and the status of the wildlife species was confirmed to be in the same category (extirpated - no longer found in the wild in Canada but occurring elsewhere, endangered, threatened or of special concern). The wildlife species assessment results for the 2009-2010 reporting period include the following: Extirpated: 6 Endangered: 39 Threatened: 16 Special Concern: 17 Data Deficient: 1 This report transmits to the Minister the status of 46 species newly classified as extirpated, endangered, threatened or of special concern, fulfilling COSEWIC’s obligations under SARA Section 24 and 25. A full detailed summary of the assessment for each species and the reason for the designation can be found in Appendix I of the attached report. Since its inception, COSEWIC has assessed 602 wildlife species in various risk categories, including 262 Endangered, 151 Threatened, 166 Special Concern and 23 Extirpated. In addition, 13 wildlife species have been assessed as Extinct. Also, to date, 46 wildlife species have been identified by COSEWIC as Data Deficient and 166 wildlife species were assessed as Not at Risk. This year has been a particularly productive year for COSEWIC’s Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) Subcommittee. In April 2010 COSEWIC approved the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Process and Protocol Guidelines, providing clear and agreed principles for the gathering of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge to carry out COSEWIC functions as required under Section 15(2) of SARA (See Appendix III of the attached report). We are grateful for the rich and enthusiastic contribution made by community elders and experts in helping the ATK Subcommittee prepare the ATK protocols.

Permits and Related Agreements

  • Explanation for issuing permit(#16-PPAC-00004), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2016-04-04)

    Activities consist of the following: a) capturing Threespine Sticklebacks using minnow traps, b) euthanizing a sub-set of captured adult females for laboratory genome sequencing, c) fin-clipping captured adult (and benthic sub-adult) males and females for mark-recapture and opportunistic genetic analysis of samples taken, d) taking a sub-set of male and female adults for establishment of laboratory broodstock at UBC, and e) containing 100 marked non-gravid adult females in closed traps overnight to estimate potential mortality rates from handling.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#19-PPAC-00006 ), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2019-04-01)

    Capturing Threespine Sticklebacks from Paxton, Priest, and Emily lakes using seine nets, dip nets, or minnow traps; transporting Paxton Lake Threespine Sticklebacks to the University of British Columbia for the purposes of monitoring phenotype and genotypes; transporting Priest Lake Threespine Sticklebacks to the University of British Columbia for use in a study of the evolutionary forces acting on "solitary" stickleback populations, the first stage in the origins of stickleback species pairs; transporting Paxton Lake, Priest Lake, and Emily Lake Threespine Sticklebacks to the University of British Columbia for use in a study of the genetic distinctiveness of the different species pairs; and release of any live individuals not required for planned removals (described in 2.2.7.1) to the wild following recovery.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#20-PPAC-00004), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2020-04-06)

    The activities authorized by this permit consist of: a) collection of Threespine Sticklebacks from Paxton Lake and the Vananda Creek watershed using seine nets, dip nets, or minnow traps; b) transporting Paxton Lake and Vananda Creek Threespine Sticklebacks to the University of British Columbia for use in a study to understand the genetic distinctiveness of the different species pairs, and the functional consequences of these genetic differences; c) release of any live individuals not required for planned removals (described in permit condition 2.3.7.1) to the wild following recovery.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#21-PPAC-00009 ), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2021-04-01)

    The activities authorized by this permit consist of: a) Capture of Paxton Lake Benthic Threespine Stickleback, Paxton Lake Limnetic Threespine Stickleback, Vananda Creek Benthic Threespine Stickleback and Vananda Creek Limnetic Threespine Stickleback from Paxton Lake and Priest Lake using seine nets, dip nets, and/or minnow traps; b) Collection and transportation of up to 30 Paxton Lake Benthic Threespine Stickleback adult females, 30 Paxton Lake Limnetic Threespine Stickleback adult males and 30 Vananda Creek Limnetic Threespine Stickleback adult males to the University of British Columbia for use in laboratory and controlled field studies; c) Release of any live captured individuals in excess of the numbers specified in activity b to the wild.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#DFO-16-HPAC-00713), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2016-08-01)

    Fish sampling will be used to inform on the impacts of the Texada Quarry water discharge on heavy metal contaminant levels of Priest Lake resident fish. The resultant environmental impact assessment will inform on improved water management options and will be of benefit to Endangered Threespine Stickleback that reside within the lake. Fish sampling within Priest Lake using Gee traps, seine and dip nets. Sampling is to be conducted as part of an ecological risk assessment to inform on the impact of water discharge from the Texada Quarry on resident fish species. Cutthroat trout captured during sampling will be sacrificed and heavy metal tissue levels analyzed. A SARA permit was issued for the capture and handling of Vananda Creek Limnetic and Benthic Threespine Stickleback Species Pair individuals that may be captured during sampling in Priest Lake. Killing of Stickleback Species Pair individuals is not permitted nor required for this project.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#DFO-17-PPAC-00002), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2017-04-01)

    Activities consist of the following: a) capturing Threespine Sticklebacks from Paxton and Priest lakes using minnow traps (in April or May for adults and in August or September for juveniles); b) transporting Priest Lake Threespine Sticklebacks to UBC for use in an experiment studying interactions with invasive Signal Crayfish to inform the impacts of hybridization; c) transporting captured Paxton Lake Threespine Sticklebacks to UBC to use in an experiment studying natural selection on sticklebacks of varying phenotype to inform knowledge of natural selection that maintains morphological differences between the species; and, in the event it is necessary, supplement existing laboratory broodstock for future experimentation to reduce the future need for collecting individuals from wild populations for research; d) fin-clipping and containing non-gravid adult Paxton Lake Threespine Stickleback females (50 benthics and 50 limnetics) in closed minnow traps (10 in each trap) overnight to determine the proportion that suffer mortality within the first 12-18 hours; and, e) release of any live individuals not required for planned removals (described in 2.2.8.1 [of the permit]) to the wild following recovery.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#DFO-18-PPAC-00006 ), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2018-04-01)

    a) A planned removal sample of 50 adults from each species in Paxton, Priest, and Emily lakes for the purposes of long-term monitoring of phenotype and genotypes. Half will be male and half will be female. Fish will be transported to UBC for the purposes of projects (b), (c), and (d). b) The 50 fish from Priest Lake in (a), 25 of each sex, will also be used for experimental studies of the interaction between stickleback and crayfish. c) Planned removals of 30 males from Paxton Lake to make crosses for a study of the evolutionary forces acting on "solitary" stickleback populations, the first stage in the origins of the stickleback species pairs. 25 of these males will come from the Paxton Lake sample listed in (a). Five additional males will be transported to UBC for the purposes of this project. d) Planned removals to make multiple laboratory genetic crosses between benthics and limnetics from different species pair lakes. This will include: 5 additional male Paxton limnetics; 5 additional male Paxton benthics; 10 additional male + 5 additional female Priest limnetics; and 10 additional male + 5 additional female Priest benthics. Five female limetics and female benthics from Paxton Lake also needed for this study will be taken from (a). e) Non-lethal measurements of male color using 20 males of each species in from Paxton and Priest lakes.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#DFO-PAF SARA 116), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2009-03-01)

    . Authorized representatives of the University of B.C. will sample individuals from each stickleback population above in order to: carry out laboratory crosses; supplement local brood stocks; study influences on assortative mating; and study adaptive significance in benthic species. Euthanasia of limited numbers of sticklebacks is required for analysis, and to reduce the spread of pathogens potentially acquired in a laboratory setting. The ultimate goal is to aid in the recovery of these species at risk by monitoring changes, and providing baseline ecological and genetic information for their management.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#DFO-PAF SARA 121), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2009-03-17)

    Authorized representatives of the University of BC will sample individuals from each stickleback population above for sampling/laboratory testing in order to; understand the impact of alien crayfish on limnetic and benthic nesting behaviour/success; and determine the potential role of macrophytes in spatial segregation and reproductive isolation. Euthanasia of limited numbers of sticklebacks is required for analysis, and to reduce the spread of pathogens potentially acquired in a laboratory setting. The ultimate goal is to aid in the recovery of these species at risk by understanding the cause of hybridization in Enos Lake, which will also help inform appropriate management of other stickleback lakes to ensure that they do not suffer a similar fate.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#DFO-PAF SARA 147), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2010-03-01)

    Authorized representatives of the University of British Columbia (UBC) will collect individuals of each stickleback population for laboratory testing in order to examine causes of reproductive isolation between benthics and limnetics, and the role of nesting habitat in assortative mating. Euthanasia of limited numbers of sticklebacks is required for analysis, and to reduce the spread of pathogens potentially acquired in a laboratory setting. The ultimate goal of the activities is to aid in the recovery of these species at risk by monitoring changes occurring in the species and providing baseline ecological and genetic information for management of the species.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#DFO-PAF SARA 236), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2012-04-04)

    Authorized representatives of University of British Columbia will carry out research and sampling in order to understand the causes of the origin and persistence of the Stickleback species. The ultimate goal of the activities is to assist in the recovery of this species by collecting baseline ecological and genetic information useful in the monitoring and managing the Stickleback species recovery.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#DFO-PAF SARA 289), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2013-04-02)

    Authorized representatives of Michigan State University will collect fish to conduct research to understand plasticity of mate choice and effect of demography, and to measure sexual selection and sexual isolation to understand forward and reverse speciation. The ultimate goal of the activities is to assist in the recovery of this species by achieving a better understanding how limnetic and benthic stickleback species pairs diverged and how to promote conservation efforts.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#DFO-PAF SARA 358), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2015-05-01)

    Authorized representatives of the University of British Columbia will trap, fin-clip, transport, conduct visual acuity studies, and eventually euthanize Paxton/Vananda Stickleback in order to collect information on the biology of the species pairs. The ultimate goal of the activities is to assist in the recovery of this species by collecting information on the origin and persistence of the species.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SECT 04 SCI 012), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2004-08-20)

    The objective is to monitor hybridization and estimate effective population size in three-spined stickleback species pairs to establish a baseline for conservation management and track future changes. Field techniques will include 2 collections of limnetic and benthic sticklebacks from 2 lakes. Dip nets, seine, and minnow traps will be used from the shore and from a small canoe. The fish will be euthanized and preserved in ethanol for morphological and genetic analysis. The sacrifice of these sticklebacks is necessary for this research, which can only be done accurately on preserved specimens. The population size of these fish is of the order of at least 20,000 individuals in each lake. The number of fish to be sampled represents a small fraction of the total population size, well under the normal level of inter-annual fluctuation in population size that would be expected between years. This research will provide estimates of the effective population size, critical data for effective conservation management.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SECT 04 SCI 016), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2004-12-10)

    The work involves observations and experiments on foraging, growth, survival, predator evasion, parasite resistance, mating cues, and genetics. Goals are to 1) describe the differences between species in body size, shape, colour, behaviour and environment; 2) identify distinguishing genes; 3) understand mating incompatibilities and the primary barrier to gene flow between sympatric stickleback species; 4) correlate these differences with environmental features; 5) understand the role of natural selection generated by competition, predation, and parasitism; 6) measure environmental features that are necessary for the long-term persistence of species pairs. The work will establish a baseline for management and tracking of future changes to the stickleback species pairs. Field Sampling of wild fish from the lakes using minnow traps, dip and seine nets, followed by laboratory work. Live specimens collected from the field or made from crosses between wild caught fish will be kept in aquaria. Fish will be raised from eggs and those used in genetic studies will be raised to adult size.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SECT 05 SCI 001), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2005-03-31)

    The goal of the research is to understand the origin and persistence of a group of fish that have evolved and diversified rapidly in freshwater lakes. Fish will be captured using minnow traps, seine and dip nets. They will be mass reared from eggs and used to observe and experiment on foraging, growth, survival, predator evasion, parasite loading and resistance, mating cues and genetics. Live specimens collected from the field or made from crosses between wild caught fish will be kept in aquaria. Fish will be raised from eggs using filtration, aeration, and feeding techniques. Fish used in genetic studies will be raised to adult size.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SECT 08 SCI 002), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2008-04-04)

    Goals of 2008 include: 1) laboratory crosses to identify the genes that distinguish populations and species; 2) association mapping in Enos Lake to identify genes that distinguish populations and species; 3) modest field collections to supplement local brood stocks; 4) measurements of body coloration in the visible and ultraviolet range; 5) studies of the adaptive significance of pelvic girdle loss in the benthic species.

Residence Description

Critical Habitat Orders

Recovery Document Posting Plans

  • Recovery Document Posting Plan - Fisheries and Oceans Canada - Fiscal Year 2016-2017 (2018-09-28)

    Under the Species at Risk Act (SARA), the competent Minister(s) must prepare a recovery strategy within one year of listing a species on Schedule 1 of SARA as endangered and within two years of listing a species as extirpated or threatened. A management plan must be prepared within three years for a species listed as special concern. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is accountable for 111 of the 518 species listed under SARA. As of February 2016, proposed recovery strategies, management plans and action plans for 57 of those species have not yet been posted to the Species at Risk Public Registry. An additional 23 aquatic species have proposed management or action plans coming due in the future. The following outlines the Department’s plan for posting proposed documents for 64 species on the Species at Risk Public Registry. The Department has a plan to post recovery strategies for 9 species, management plans for 13 species, and action plans for 42 species over the next year. Original publication of the Recovery Document Posting Plan: 2016-05-02
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