Morrison creek lamprey (Lampetra richardsoni var. marifuga) recovery strategy: chapter 1

Executive Summary

Morrison Creek lamprey is a unique life history form of the western brook lamprey (Lampetra richardsoni) that is believed to occur only in Morrison Creek, Vancouver Island (Beamish 1985). It was discovered in 1977, is considered a derivative of L. richardsoni and has been labelled L. richardsoni var. marifuga (Beamish 1987). Although described in some detail, the Morrison Creek lamprey has not been given formal taxonomic status, and additional work is recommended to clarify the taxonomy. Its extreme endemic distribution is the principal factor in its designation as “endangered,” and suggests that it will always remain at some risk.

A variety of factors threaten the Morrison Creek lamprey and its associated habitat. The primary threat is impacts associated with urbanization of the watershed. This recovery strategy focuses on the goal of ensuring the long-term viability of Morrison Creek lamprey, and offers a variety of approaches to attain this goal. The priority actions are to collect information on life-history and habitat associations, fill other data gaps that inhibit conservation of the variety, and collect information to allow delineation of critical habitat in the wild. Activities aimed at reducing impacts of urbanization are also suggested. Activities aimed at protecting and enhancing other species of fish and wildlife are likely to benefit Morrison Creek lamprey, and vice versa.

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