University Presentation Showcase: Undergraduate Poster Gallery
Examining the Land Cover Characteristics of Kentucky’s Buck Creek System to Better Understand Buck Darter (Etheostoma nebra) Distribution
The Buck Darter, Etheostoma nebra, is a relatively new species of darter fish previously thought to be Etheostoma virgatum, but recently determined by DNA analysis to be a separate species. The darter is endemic to a small portion of Buck Creek, which is within the Cumberland River watershed located in Kentucky. Buck Creek originates in Lincoln County, flowing south-southeast into and through most of Pulaski County before flowing into the Cumberland River. Buck Creek is known for exceptionally high water quality, and supports multiple threatened and endangered aquatic species. The goal of this project was to use GIS and remote sensing to examine the land use characteristics around the Buck Creek system and compare these characteristics to existing data on Buck Darter distribution. This information will then be used for future work identifying new sites where the Buck Darter might be present and to better understand why the species has such a limited distribution.