Fish & Habitats– Fish at Risk
When we examine the rarity of vertebrates, most of the rarest
animal species in the province are freshwater fish. However,
with the exception of the salmon and trout, and possibly
sturgeon, our freshwater fishes remain unknown and invisible
to nearly all of us. Yet some of the most exciting biological
stories are found within this little known group. For example,
the rapid evolution of marine sticklebacks into different
freshwater forms has made our province famous among scientists
around the world.
fish in British Columbia have a very restricted distribution;
these fish are naturally rare. Other species at risk are
suffering population declines across a significant portion
of their range. And still others are more common in other
parts of their global distribution but occur here at the
edge of their natural range. It is important to maintain
these populations because they have shown they can adapt
to harsher conditions and they often show greater genetic
variability than core populations. At this time, more than
one-third of our native freshwater fish are considered
at risk (classified as endangered, threatened, or vulnerable).
Some fish species in B.C. have special status in order to ensure
their protection at both the provincial and national levels.
These lists may be viewed at the following sites:
Wildlife at Risk,
and Endangered Species, Extinct
Freshwater Fishes of B.C. and the
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