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|Presentation Title||Global Conservation Status of the Family Sciaenidae (Croaker and Drum)|
|Presenting Author Name||Claire Gorman|
|Presenting Author Affiliation||Old Dominion University|
|Unit Meeting||Tidewater Chapter|
|Type of Presentation||Oral|
Marine biodiversity is under threat from an array of anthropogenic stressors. Understanding how these stressors impact marine fauna is a critical step in the effort to conserve species and ecosystems. Sciaenid fishes, the croakers and drums, play important ecological roles in a variety of marine and freshwater habitats and support commercial and artisanal fisheries globally. Despite their economic and ecological importance, information regarding the impacts of anthropogenic stressors on these sensitive species is limited. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List methodology for assessing extinction risk was applied to all species of Sciaenidae to determine which are at high risk and what are the drivers and indicators of that risk. Preliminary results indicate that most species have a low risk of biological extinction; however, many species are lacking the data required to determine an appropriate category and are currently assessed as Data Deficient. The best estimate for the percentage species of elevated concern is 12.6%, with a range of 9.1-36.5% to account for the uncertainty in the true status of the species assessed as Data Deficient. The primary driver of risk for species of elevated concern is overexploitation. These species are also likely to possess life history characteristics that make them particularly susceptible to population decline, such as large body size and the formation of spawning aggregations. This study will provide a baseline for future research efforts and conservation priorities by highlighting data gaps and species of elevated conservation concern.