The Recently Extinct Plants and Animals Database


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Prototroctes oxyrhyncus Günther, 1870:152

New Zealand grayling, upokororo (Māori name)

 

 

Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Retropinna upokororo Hector, 1871:134

 

Conservation Status

Last record: March 1923

IUCN RedLisat status: Extinct

 

A formerly very abundant species of smelt, apparently even used as a fertiliser pre-1900, the reason for its extinction is not clear. However, habitat alteration, overfishing and introduced fish are the likely culprits.

The last authenticated New Zealand grayling's, 30 to 40 of them, were caught by Sir Peter Buck at an artificial weir in March 1923 according to (Day, 1981). A photo of apparently the same event clearly shows three men using a hīnaki (i.e. trap) (see [url=https://www.teara.govt.nz/en/freshwater-fish/1/1]here[/url]). However, as with most putatively extinct species, unconfirmed records continue long after the last confirmed individual has died. There are even rumours that it persists in isolated tributaries to this day. And these must be taken with some seriousness as it cannot be guaranteed that all possible bodies of water have been surveyed extensively enough.

 

Distribution

New Zealand

 

Biology & Ecology

 

 

Hypodigm

A specimen handed in to the British Museum in the 1930's was an unknown number of years old, thus it is uncertain whether this lone specimen was caught after March 1923 or before (World Conservation Monitoring Centre, 1996).

 

Media

 

 

References

Original scientific description:

Günther, A. C. L. G. (1870). [scientific description of Prototroctes oxyrhyncus]. Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 1870: 152.

 

Other references:

Allen, K. R. (1949). The New Zealand grayling: a vanishing species. Tuatara, 2(1), 22-27.

Allen, K. R. (1961). Relations between Salmonidae and the native freshwater fauna in New Zealand. Proc. N. Z. Ecol. Soc. 8: 66-70.

Best, Elsdon. (1929). Fishing methods and devices of the Maori. Dominion Museum Bulletin 12: 1-230.

Best, Elsdon. (1977). Fishing Methods and Devices of the Maori. Wellington: E. C. Keating. 264 pp. [originally published in 1929, this is a reprint with new foreword; a newer 2005 edition has also been published]

Chitty, C. (1914). ["contribute[s] some interesting notes on the grayling"]. Lyttelton Times.

Clarke, F. E. (1899). Notes on New Zealand Galaxidae, more especially those of the western slopes: with descriptions of new species. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 31: 78-91.

Day, David. (1981). The Doomsday Book of Animals. London: Ebury Press.

Day, David. (1981). The Doomsday Book of Animals: A Natural History of Vanished Species. New York, N.Y.: The Viking Press.

Dunn, N.R.; Allibone, R.M.; Closs, G.P.; Crow, S.K.; David, B.O.; Goodman, J.M.; Griffiths, M.; Jack, D.C.; Ling, N.; Waters, J.M.; Rolfe, J.R. (2018). Conservation status of New Zealand freshwater fishes, 2017. New Zealand Threat Classification Series 24. Department of Conservation, Wellington. 11 pp.

Goodman, J.M.; Dunn, N.R.; Ravenscroft, P.J.; Allibone, R.M.; Boubee, J.A.T.; David, B.O.; Griffiths, M.; Ling, N.; Hitchmough, R.A.; Rolfe, J.R. (2014). New Zealand Threat Classification Series 7. Conservation status of New Zealand freshwater fish, 2013. Department of Conservation, Wellington. 12 pp.

'GRAYLING', from An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock, originally published in 1966. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 22-Apr-09 URL: https://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/1966/grayling/1

Günther, A. C. L. G. (1880). An introduction to the study of fishes. Today & Tomorrow's Book Agency, New Delhi. 720 pp.

Hector, James. (1871). [description of synonym of Prototroctes oxyrhyncus]. Trans. N. Z. Inst. 3: 134.

Hector, James. (1872). Notes on the edible fishes, pp. 97-133 [p. 123-125]. In: Hutton, Frederick Wollaston and Hector, James (eds.). Fishes of New Zealand: catalogue with diagnoses of the species. Wellington: J. Hughes.

Hutton, Frederick Wollaston and Hector, James. (1872). The Fishes of New Zealand. Catalogue, with diagnoses of the species, by Frederick Wollaston Hutton [...] Notes on the edible fishes, by James Hector [...]. Wellington, New Zealand: J. Hughes.

Lee, Finnbar and Perry, George L. W. (2019). Assessing the role of off‐take and source–sink dynamics in the extinction of the amphidromous New Zealand grayling (Prototroctes oxyrhynchus). Freshwater Biology. doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/fwb.13366 [Abstract]

McDowall, Bob. 'Freshwater fish', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 1-Mar-09  URL: https://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/freshwater-fish/1/1

McDowall, Robert M. (1968). lnteractions of the native and alien faunas of New Zealand and the problem of fish introductions. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 97: 1-11.

McDowall, Robert M. (1969). Relationships of galaxioid fishes, with a further discussion of salmoniform classification. Copeia 1969: 796-824.

McDowall, Robert M. (1974). Specialization in the dentition of the southern graylings – genus Prototroctes (Galaxioidei: Prototroctidae). J Fish Biol 6: 209-213. [Abstract]

McDowall, Robert M. (1976). Fishes of the family Prototroctidae (Salmoniformes). Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 27(4): 641-659. [Abstract]

McDowall, Robert M. (1978). Family Proctotroctidae. In: New Zealand Freshwater Fishes: a guide and natural history. Heinemann Educational Books Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand.

McDowall, R. M. (1979). Guide to freshwater fishes. Part VI. Family Protoroctidae. The grayling [New Zealand]. Freshwater Catch: Quarterly Supplement to Catch '79.

McDowall, Robert M. (1988). Diadromy in fishes: migrations between freshwater and marine environments. London: Croom Helm.

McDowall, Robert M. (1990a). New Zealand freshwater fishes: a natural history and guide. Hinemann Reed Auckland. 553 pp.

McDowall, Robert M. (1990b). Freshwater fishes and fisheries of New Zealand -The angler's Eldorado. Aquatic Science 2(2): 281-341.

McDowell, Robert M. (1996). Threatened fishes of the world: Prototoctes oxyrhynchus Gunther, 1870 (Prototrocidae). Environmental Biology of Fishes 46, 60.

McDowall, Robert M. (1997). The evolution of diadromy in fishes (revisited) and its place in phylogenetic analysis. Rev. Fish Biol. Fish. 7(4): 443-462.

McDowall, Robert M., Kennedy, E. M. and Alloway, Brent V. (2006). A fossil grayling genus Prototroctes, from the Pleistocene of northeastern New Zealand (Teleostei: Retropinnidae). Royal Society of New Zealand, 36(1): 27-36.

McDowall, Robert M. and Stewart, A. L. (2015). Family Prototroctidae; Southern Hemisphere graylings, pp. 381-382. In: Roberts, C. D., Stewart, A. L. and Struthers, C. D. (eds.). The Fishes of New Zealand. Vol. 2. Wellington: Te Papa Press. 576 pp.

Miskelly, Colin M. (2016). Legal protection of New Zealand’s indigenous aquatic fauna an historical review. Tuhinga 27: 81-115.

Pascoe, J. (1957) (ed.). Mr. Explorer Douglas. Wellington: Reed.

Paulin, C., Stewart, A., Roberts, C. and McMillan, P. (1989). New Zealand fish: a complete guide. National Museum of New Zealand Miscellaneous Series No. 19. 279 pp.

Phillipps, W. J. (1923). The life history of the New Zealand grayling, Prototroctes oxyrhynchus. New Zealand Journal of Science and Technology 6: 115-117.

Phillipps, W. J. (1940). The fishes of New Zealand. New Plymouth, Avery

Rutland, J. (1878). On the habits of the New Zealand grayling. In Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute (Vol. 10, pp. 250-252).

Walrond, Carl. (2005). Out of the frying pan: Into oblivion: Native Grayling were once abundant in our waterways but are now extinct. New Zealand Geographic 75(Sept-Oct): pagination?

World Conservation Monitoring Centre. (1996). Prototroctes oxyrhynchus. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. (https://www.iucnredlist.org). Downloaded on 14 July 2012.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/101264446/the-enduring-mystery-of-our-only-protected-freshwater-native-fish

https://extinctanimals.proboards.com/thread/1721/new-zealand-grayling-prototroctes-oxyrhynchus

 

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