Pallid sturgeon

North America


Scaphirhynchus albus


Man-made alteration to natural habitat

Pallid Sturgeons are endemic North American ray-finned freshwater fish species that can reach up to 6 feet in length and up to 80 pounds in weight. It once thrived in lakes and rivers of Missouri and Mississippi. It can live up to a century although it will take almost 15 years before it can reach maturity and start the breeding cycle.

It owes its unique dinosaur-like appearance from having an armoured yet scaleless bony-plated body, a toothless mouth, and a flat-shaped snout.

Significant changes effected to the freshwater environment and its surrounding areas have left the Pallid Sturgeon with limited options in terms of suitable habitat range, including food resources. Upstream migration during breeding season is hindered by channelization and impoundment while there is less flooding in the region due to reduced water flow rates. Because of extreme alteration to the wetland and sandbar ecosystems, population decline of the Pallid Sturgeon is inevitable.