Fishes of North America Endangered, Threatened, or of Special Concern: 1989
Abstract The American Fisheries Society herein provides an update of their now decade-old list of rare North American fishes. The 1989 list adds 139 new taxa to the list developed by Deacon et al. (1979) of 251 fishes and removes 26 for a total of 364 fishes in Canada, United States, and Mexico that warrant protection because of their rarity. The 26 taxa removed from the 1979 list include 16 removed because of better information on their taxonomy or status and 10 because they have become extinct. Not a single fish warranted removal from the list because of successful recovery efforts. In addition, 49 fishes have changed in status but remain on the list: 7 have improved in status, 24 have declined, and 18 have been reclassified because new information revealed that they were either more common or rarer than was earlier believed and, therefore, were incorrectly classified in 1979. Comparison of the 1979 and 1989 lists indicates that recovery efforts have been locally effective for some species, but are clearly lagging behind deterioration of the overall fish fauna. The health of aquatic habitats in North America continues to decay. A major commitment to conservation of entire ecosystems, rather than the inconsistent recovery efforts for individual species, is needed to reverse this trend.