Date of this Version
U.S. Government Work
The Topeka shiner Notropis topeka is native to Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota and has been federally listed as endangered since 1998. Our goals were to determine the present distribution and qualitative status of Topeka shiners throughout its current range in Iowa and characterize the extent of decline in relation to its historic distribution. We compared the current (2016–2017) distribution to distributions portrayed in three earlier time periods. In 2016–2017 Topeka shiners were found in 12 of 20 HUC10 watersheds where they occurred historically. Their status was classified as stable in 21% of the HUC10 watersheds, possibly stable in 25%, possibly recovering in 8%, at risk in 33%, and possibly extirpated in 13% of the watersheds. The increasing trend in percent decline evident in earlier time periods reversed, going from 68% in 2010–11 to 40% in the most recent surveys. Following decades of decline, the status of Topeka shiners in Iowa appears to be improving. One potential reason for the reversal in the distributional decline of Topeka shiners in Iowa is the increasing number of oxbow restorations. Until a standardized monitoring program is established for Iowa, periodic status assessments such as this will be necessary to chronicle progress toward conserving this endangered fish species.