This species is also native to the the Irtysh River, in the northwest of Xin jiang province, China. However, wild populations were extirpated from here in the 1950s; the small population that remains here is from stocking (Chen 2007).
Habitat and Ecology
Spawning periodicity is 3-5 years in females and 2-3 years in males. The generation length of the species ranges from 25-30 years (Chen 2007, Ruban 2005). In northeastern populations, females are twice the age of males (Ruban 2005). The average age at maturity for females is 11 (in Lena River) to 22 (in Lake Baikal), and 9-19 years for males.
Diseases and Parasites
Life History and Behavior
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Acipenser baerii
Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.
See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Acipenser baerii
Public Records: 40
Specimens with Barcodes: 48
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
Based on commercial catch data, it is estimated that the Ob River basin contains more than 80% of the global population of this species (Chen 2007). In the Ob River basin, catches declined by ~99.5% from 1410 tonnes in 1935 to 6.7 tonnes in 1996. In the Yenisei River catches declined from 504 tonnes in 1934 to 10-12 tonnes in 2000s (a ~97.5% decline). In the Lena River catches declined from 190 tonnes in 1943 to about 10 tonnes in recent years (a ~94.5% decline) (Ruban 2005).
This species was extirpated from the northwest parts of Xin jiang province, China in the 1950s. The small population that remains here exists through stocking (Chen 2007).
The Siberian Sturgeon was listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1998. An export permit can only be issued if the specimen was legally obtained and if the export will not be detrimental to the survival of the species.
For the last 10 years, eggs of this species (originating from Russia) are being reared in Chinese hatcheries and young are being released into the upper reaches of the Irtysh River, in the northwest part of Xin jiang province, China. No information is currently available on population numbers. This is being undertaken by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Chen 2008).
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
The Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baerii) is a species of sturgeon in the Acipenseridae family. It is most present in all of the major Siberian river basins that drain northward into the Kara, Laptev and East Siberian seas, including the Ob, Yenisei (which drains Lake Baikal via the Angara River) the Lena and Kolyma rivers. It is also found in Kazakhstan and China in the Irtysh River, a major tributary of the Ob. The species epithet was named for the German Russian biologist Karl Ernst von Baer.
Siberian sturgeon is typically subdivided into two subspecies. However, recent studies suggest they may be monotypic, forming continuous genetically connected populations throughout their vast range.
The nominate taxon (A. b. baerii) accounts for 80% of all Siberian sturgeon and resides in the Ob River and its tributaries. This subspecies migrates to mouth of the Ob during the winter due to seasonal oxygen deficiency, and swims thousands of kilometers upstream to spawn.
Once considered a third form, "A. b. stenorrhynchus" resides in the eastern Siberian rivers and displays two life history patterns: a more abundant migratory one which swims considerable distances (sometimes thousands of kilometers) upstream from estuaries and deltas to spawn, and a nonmigratory form. This form is now considered to be a junior synonym of A. b. baerii.
Description and population status
Siberian sturgeon usually weigh about 65 kg, with considerable variability between and within river basins. The maximum recorded weight was 210 kg. As with all other acipenserids, the Siberian sturgeon are long-lived (up to 60 years), and late to reach sexual maturity (males at 11–24 years, females at 20–28 years). They spawn in strong current main stem river channels over stone or gravel substrates.
The Siberian sturgeon feeds on a variety of benthic organisms, such as crustaceans and chironomid larvae.
The species had been in steep decline in its natural range due to habitat loss, degradation, and poaching. Up to 40% of the Siberian sturgeon spawning habitat has been made inaccessible by damming. High levels of pollution in certain places have led to significant negative impacts on the reproductive development of gonads.
While wild catches have been generally declining, the Siberian sturgeon is increasingly farmed both for meat and to produce caviar from its roe. Because the Lena population of A. baerii completes its lifecycle in fresh water and sexually matures relatively early, it is the most common original broodstock for captive-bred specimens. The main producer of Siberian sturgeon caviar is France, while the largest meat producers are Russia and China.
- Ruban, G. & Bin Zhu (2009). "Acipenser baerii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
- Ruban, G.I. (1999). [The Siberian Sturgeon Acipenser baerii Brandt (Structure and Ecology of the Species)]. Moscow. GEOS publishers. Pp. 235 (in Russian).
- Akimova, N.V. and Ruban, G.I. 2001. Reproductive System Condition and the Reason for Decreased Abundance of Siberian Sturgeon Acipenser baerii in the Ob’ River. Journal of Ichthyology 41(2): 177-181.
- Jesús Matallanas, FIGIS Species Fact Sheets. Species Identification and Data Programme - SIDP. In: FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department [online]. Rome. Updated . [Cited 18 June 2010]. http://www.fao.org/fishery/culturedspecies/Acipenser_baerii/en
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