Conservancy Fairy Shrimp

Scientific name: Branchinecta conservatio

Common Names: Conservancy Fairy Shrimp

Status: Listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List on August 1, 1996

Geography: Native to the United States (Southern California)

Conservation Information: The historical distribution of this species is unknown. However, places where the species is now known to occur (vernal pools in southern California) once held more continuous and larger populations than there are today. The species is known from several disjunct populations throughout southern California.

The species is threatened by human-caused activities, primarily urban development, water supply and flood control projects and conversion of land for agricultural use. It was estimated in 1978 that between 60 and 85 percent of the shrimp’s habitat had been destroyed by 1973. As of 1988, the rate of loss of remaining habitat has been estimated at two to three percent per year.

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Branchiopoda

Order: Anostraca

Family: Branchinectidae

Image Caption: US Fish and Wildlife photo of the Conservancy fairy shrimp. Credit: Wikipedia/USFWS