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COSEWIC Assessment and Update Status Report on the Carmine Shiner in Canada

Special Significance of the Species

The carmine shiner has no direct economic importance and limited importance as a forage species, but is of scientific interest (Scott and Crossman 1973; Houston 1996; Stewart and Watkinson 2004). It does have intrinsic value as a contributor to Canada’s biodiversity and as a potential colonizing species. As peripheral populations, at the northwestern limit of the distribution of the species, and the N. rubellus complex, which are geographically isolated from their nearest neighbours in Minnesota, those in Manitoba may be unique and provide evidence of local adaptation to their habitat and genetic differentiation from other populations of the species (Stewart and Watkinson 2004). They may constitute a significant component of the genetic diversity of the species. Scientific studies of these populations might improve our understanding of the timing and routes of post-glacial re-colonization of Manitoba by fishes (Houston 1996). They may also provide evidence of genetic adaptation near the limit of a species’ distribution.