Since first being described as species, there have been few studies on the populations of the Teardrop Darter (Etheostoma barbouri) and the Highland Rim Darter (Etheostoma kantuckeense), both endemic to the Upper Barren River System in South Central Kentucky. We conducted surveys at historical locations in order to determine if the current populations had significantly declined relative to their historic populations. We obtained the historical data from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Kentucky Division of Water, and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Current data was obtained through sampling by seining and electroshocking at or near the historic locations. By analyzing the data through statistical programs and comparing them with an unpaired t-test, we found no significant difference between current and historic populations and no significant correlations between fishes and particular streams. This study has implications for other fishes that may be in decline. By conducting more research like this, we may be able to take a proactive approach to conservation in order to protect endangered habitat and species before they are on the brink of extinction. Particularly with species like these darters that have a limited physiographic range, more studies are needed to fully understand if they are in need of management and protection.
Semester/Year of Award
Sherry L. Harrel
Mentor Professional Affiliation
Restricted Access Thesis
Ruhl, Madeline E., "Distributions of the Teardrop Darter and the Highland Rim Darter, Endemic to Upper Barren River System, South Central Kentucky and Northern Tennessee" (2013). Honors Theses. 104.