Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Mississippi
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Mississippi Project

Using a Bayesian belief network to structure Species Status Assessments of data-deficient species: a case study with Piebald Madtom

April 2022 - August 2026


Participating Agencies

  • US Fish and Wildlife Service

The southeastern US supports hundreds of freshwater mussels, fishes, and crayfishes, but many are likely at risk of imperilment because of rarity, limited distributions, and declining populations. Currently, there is no standardized quantitative framework for evaluating imperilment of data-deficient southeastern freshwater fishes. Therefore, we are using Piebald Madtom as a case study for implementing a Species Status Assessment using a Bayesian belief network and elicitation techniques from experts with US Fish and Wildlife Service, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, US Army Corps of Engineers, Mississippi State University, University of Tennessee at Martin, and Austin Peay State University. This research will be used to predict current and future condition of Piebald Madtom for this species’ Status Assessment under the Endangered Species Act.