Pallid Sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus)
The Pallid Sturgeon is native to the Missouri and Mississippi rivers in the United States. They are opportunistic bottom feeders, foraging for insects and small fish like minnows. They can live for up to 50 years, and potentially even longer. It is difficult to tell the age of the fish as their skeleton is made of cartilage, not bone, and they have no scales.
Pallid Sturgeon have been listed as Endangered since 1990. Damming and channelization of their native rivers has reduced flow rates and sediment loads which has continued to have an impact on their populations. In addition, dams stop sturgeon from migrating up stream to spawn. The Keystone Pipeline would cross the rivers where these rare fish are found, and would have further negative impacts on this already fragile species.