The University of Kansas An Official Employee Publication From the Office of University Relations



Dec. 12, 2003
Vol. 28, No. 8

KU researchers aim to prime oil pumps
Governance, administration discuss unauthorized "Women of KU" calendar
Sundance summons filmmakers
Campaign gives KU ‘Better Bites’
Classes help Edwards staff embrace Hispanic community
H.O.P.E. Hooray
KPR schedules holiday broadcasts
National Hispanic magazine picks KU
Festive feast
KU research helps to restore endangered minnow

Projects promise improved services, better technology by next summer
KU professor’s book receives critical acclaim
Employees of the month
Tuition assistance helps staff expand language skills

Donations still accepted

KU wins $915K grant to study effect of Human Genome Project

Scientists seek to simulate spine for surgery
Holiday ’Hawk
Military Science celebrates 60th
Exhibit reveals science history in Dyche Hall

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KU research helps to restore endangered minnow

Two male shiners fight for control of a nesting spot. Behind them, a female shiner waits to mate with the victor. The females produce eggs in small batches all summer, so sparring leaves males ragged and scarred by the end of the spawning season. Garold Sneegas/Contributed

By Cathy Sherman

Research discoveries by KU biologists are helping state and federal wildlife officials bring the endangered Topeka shiner minnow back from the brink of extinction.

One key was confirmation by Scott Campbell, research associate with the Kansas Biological Survey at KU, and his colleagues that the presence of sunfish in the right environments increased the minnow’s natural rate of reproduction.

As a result, KU biologists have been able to propagate thousands of shiners for use in research from an initial stock of 300 taken from one Kansas creek. The biologists have provided the shiners for counterparts at Kansas State University and in the Missouri Department of Conservation for their own studies of this “little-understood” fish, Campbell said.

The 3-inch Topeka shiner, a member of the minnow family Cyprinidae, lives about three years and is found in the calmer runs and pools in the headwaters of certain small streams in Kansas, where it is most common, as well as in limited places in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota.

Developing techniques to propagate Topeka shiners is important to their recovery, considering that the Topeka shiner’s range has declined by nearly 90 percent in the past few decades and it was added to the federal endangered species list in 1998, Campbell said. It now occurs in only a small fraction of places where it once was common and even has vanished from the Topeka creek where the first Topeka shiners to be described by biologists were identified in 1884.


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