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Proposed Recovery Strategy for Vancouver Lamprey

Executive Summary

Vancouver lamprey (Lampetra macrostoma) is a species derived from the Pacific lamprey (L. tridentata) and is reported only in Cowichan and Mesachie lakes on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.  L. macrostoma was deemed a separate species based on its unique morphological and physiological traits, primarily its large oral disk and physiological adaptation to freshwater.  Some phylogenetic uncertainty remains and requires additional investigation. There has been little or no research done on this species since the 1980s, and no firm conclusions can be drawn with the current data regarding population status and trends.  Its extreme endemic distribution is the principal factor in its designation as Threatened, and suggests that the species will always remain at some risk. 

A variety of factors threaten the Vancouver lamprey and its associated habitat, though the extent and severity of threats are unknown. This recovery strategy focuses on ensuring the long-term viability of Vancouver lamprey, and offers a variety of approaches to attain this goal.  The priority actions are to fill data gaps that inhibit conservation of the species, and to collect information to allow delineation of critical habitat in the wild.  Activities aimed at protecting and enhancing other species of fish and wildlife are likely to also benefit Vancouver lamprey, and vice versa.