Idaho's Mount Borah
BLM
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Soaring over the Snake River Birds of Prey NCA Survey pin Teepees at Idaho's Sacajawea Interpretive Center in Salmon Riding Idaho's rangelands Kayaking on Idaho's scenic rivers
Idaho
BLM>Idaho>Learn & Discover>Nature
Print Page
Sensitive Species

 


Kootenai River White Sturgeon 

One of the oldest fish in North America, the Kootenai River white sturgeon has survived as a species for millions of years. Archaeologists have found sturgeon fossils over 200 million years old, meaning that they lived when dinosaurs roamed the earth.   These fish are light gray in color, with tube-like mouths located on the underside of their heads. Modification of the Kootenai River has dramatically altered the white sturgeon's life cycle. They are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  There has been almost no reproduction in the Kootenai River white sturgeon population since 1974, and scientists worry they could be extinct in the next 20 years.    

 

Habitat: Kootenai River white sturgeon are landlocked, meaning that they do not travel to the ocean like salmon do. Scientists think that these fish developed unique characteristics (making them into a separate species) because they became isolated from a larger sturgeon population during the last glacial period at least 10,000 years ago. Now, these fish only dwell throughout the 168 miles of freshwater river between Kootenai Falls, 31 miles below Libby Dam, and Kootenay Lake in British Columbia. They live in the deepest waters of the river, which is where they lay their eggs as well.  

Food: Sturgeon are bottom feeders. Their young feed on the larvae of aquatic insects, crustaceans, and mollusks. 

Facts: A white sturgeon can grow to be over 200 pounds and live 100 years.

 



Wildlife 

  Main Page 
  Hunting & Poaching 
  Injured Wildlife 
  Wildlife Science in the BLM


Herbivore Mammals

Jackrabbit 
Pygmy rabbit 
Desert cottontail 
Beaver 
Eastern gray squirrel 
Red squirrel 
Chipmunk 
Deer mouse
Kangaroo rat 
Meadow vole 
Mule deer 
Elk 
Bighorn sheep 
American pronghorn 
Moose  


Carnivore Mammals

Bobcat 
American badger 
River otter 
Red fox 
Long-tailed weasel 
Coyote 
Grizzly bear 
Mountain lion   


Amphibians

 Salamanders 

  Long-toed salamander 
  Idaho giant salamander  
  Coeur d'Alene salamander

 Frogs and Toads  

  American bullfrog 
  Columbia spotted frog 
  Western toad 
  Northern leopard frog 
  Pacific tree frog 
  Great Basin spadefoot 

Reptiles 

Snakes

Painted turtle 
Northern alligator lizard 
Mohave black-collared lizard 
Short-horned lizard 
Desert horned lizard 
Sagebrush lizard 
Western fence lizard 
Western skink 
Side-blotched lizard 
Longnosed leopard lizard 
Western whiptail 

 

Bats 

Western pipistrelle 
Western small-footed myotis 
Little brown bat 
Yuma myotis 
Townsend's big-eared bat 
Hoary bat 
Silver-haired bat 
Fringed myotis 
Pallid bat

Sensitive Species (not a complete list) 

Greater sage-grouse 
Pygmy rabbit 
No. Idaho ground squirrel 
So. Idaho ground squirrel
Canada lynx 
Grizzly bear 
Selkirk Mtns. woodland caribou 
Kootenai White River sturgeon 
Bull trout 
Sockeye salmon 
Chinook salmon 
Steelhead trout 
Yellow-billed cuckoo


Birds

     Waterfowl 
     Raptors
     Songbirds

Fish