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Grotto Sculpin Listed As Endangered Species

Brad Probst
Missouri Department of Conservation

A small cave-dwelling fish in Perry County has been listed on the endangered species list, but the area where it lives will not be considered critical habitat. Perry County leaders developed a community conservation plan to remove threats that directly impact the grotto sculpin and could adversely affect those areas that were proposed as critical habitat.  


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Shauna Marquardt said the community-based plan is a more positive and effective way to handle species recovery.  

“The ability of the Fish & Wildlife Service to assist in an effort like this is fairly rare, and then quite honestly the dedication and the motivation of people who want to do these kind of proactive efforts is fairly rare,” said Marquardt.  

The agency will review the fish’s habitat in five years to determine if it should be re-classified as a threatened species, or to determine if a critical habitat designation is required.



Threats to the grotto sculpin’s habitat include contaminated water that runs into sinkholes.


The grotto sculpin is a small, pale fish that is uniquely adapted to live in Perry County’s cave system.


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