Nebraska Game and Parks Commission


Date of this Version



Topeka Shiner (Notropis topeka) A Species Conservation Assessment for The Nebraska Natural Legacy Project. Prepared by Melissa J. Panella, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Wildlife Division, September 2012


The primary goal in development of at-risk species conservation assessments is to compile biological and ecological information that may assist conservation practitioners in making decisions regarding the conservation of species of interest. The Nebraska Natural Legacy Project recognizes the Topeka shiner (Notropis topeka) as a Tier I at-risk species of high priority for conservation. Some general management recommendations are made here regarding Topeka shiners; however, conservation practitioners will need to use professional judgment to make specific management decisions based on objectives, location, and a multitude of variables. This resource was designed to share available knowledge of the Topeka shiner that will aid in the decision-making process or in identifying research needs to benefit the species. Species conservation assessments will need to be updated as new relevant scientific information becomes available. The Nebraska Natural Legacy Project focuses efforts in the state’s Biologically Unique Landscapes (BULs), but it is recommended that whenever possible, practitioners make considerations for a species throughout its range in order to increase the outcome of successful conservation efforts.

Criteria for selection as Tier I State and federally listed as Endangered, G3 (Federal Register 69:143-44736)

Trends since 2005 in NE Declining

Range in NE Very localized: Cherry, Madison, and Stanton counties

Habitat Cold/cool clear water streams with gravel, low gradient

Threats Sedimentation, exotics, channelization, stocking of sport fish, row crop agriculture, flow modification de-watering, dams, loss of off-channel quiet-water habitats, degradation of riparian areas

Climate Change Vulnerability Index: Extremely Vulnerable

Research/Inventory Determine age structure, recruitment, population dynamics, seasonal movements, and potential for reintroduction including identifying potential reintroduction sites

Landscapes Cherry County Wetlands, Upper Loup Rivers and Tributaries

The Topeka shiner was state and federally listed as an endangered species on 15 December 1998, Federal Register 63-69008 (USFWS 1998). According to NatureServe’s last review in 2007, the state of Nebraska Heritage status rank for Topeka shiner is S1, U.S. national status is N3, and global conservation rank is G3 (2009). Experts in Nebraska believe there may be as few as 200 of the fish in the state, and the Nebraska Natural Legacy Science Team has set a goal of maintaining ten populations in the state (Schneider et al. 2011).