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Recovery Strategy for the Vancouver Lamprey (Lampetra macrostoma) in Canada (Final)

13. Knowledge Gaps

Basic knowledge exists about the natural history of this species; however, gaps exist with respect to taxonomic status, population demographics, critical habitat, and tolerance to changes in physical habitat.  Less is known about the ecology of Vancouver lamprey, the environmental factors that affect abundance and distribution, and the threats to this species.  Meeting conservation goals will require addressing several knowledge gaps.  The gaps fall into three main categories, as outlined below.

Basic Biology

  • Taxonomic status and phylogenetic relationships,
  • Habitat use and requirements by life stage (e.g., population distribution within the watershed, differential use of particular tributaries),
  • Which habitats are most likely to be limiting,
  • Life history information,
  • Causes of mortality (e.g., temperature, pollutants, predation, bycatch, etc.), and
  • Factors limiting population growth.

Threat Clarification

  • Effects of changes in lake elevation and water quality,
  • Status of key habitats and potential threats to these habitats
  • Trends in prey species abundance and levels of parasitism, and
  • Effect of present and future human activities and prioritization of threats.

Population Abundance and Dynamics

  • Current population abundance of Vancouver lamprey,
  • Natural population fluctuations of Vancouver lamprey,
  • Current and historic trends in abundance, and
  • Effect of demographics on habitat use.