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Conservation biology of endangered freshwater fishes – linking conservation of endangered freshwater fishes with river conservation, focussing on the Cederberg
Expanded Title:There are approximately 120 species of fishes occurring in South Africa freshwaters, of which about 28 are recognised as threatened in the IUCN’s Red Data list (www.iucn.org, 2011). Threats to aquatic systems and all aquatic species have been increasing and this is reflected in a trend of increasing numbers of species included in the IUCN listings. Despite this, very few of South Africa’s threatened freshwater fishes have dedicated conservation programmes aimed at realistically reducing threats and down-listing their conservation status. This project focused on the Olifants-Doring River System (ODRS) which straddles the western part of the Western and Northern Cape provinces. This river system is the nation’s most significant freshwater fish conservation “hotspot”, with 8 of 10 currently recognized species endemic, and listed as threatened. Rivers in the fynbos region are also renowned for very high levels of aquatic macro-invertebrate diversity and endemicity and for plant species diversity, encompassing two biomes that are international conservation hotspots, namely the Fynbos and Succulent Karoo. The aims of the project were multi-faceted: to improve the conservation of the three fish species over the short to medium term by producing detailed chapters on the conservation biology of each species; to improve the overall conservation status of aquatic environments in the Olifants-Doring system; to involve conservators and scientists in formulating and implementing conservation actions plans; and to develop a conservation action plan. This report is a precursor to a river rehabilitation project involving alien fish eradication in four priority fynbos rivers, with the view to allowing highly threatened indigenous fishes to reclaim habitat in their natural distribution ranges. By increasing the distribution ranges and population numbers of threatened species through such measures, conservation authorities should be able to down-list the conservation status of the affected species. The project has been subjected to a comprehensive EIA and CapeNature intends treating the Rondegat River in February 2012. This will be the first project of its kind on a river in South Africa.
Date Published:01/01/2013
Document Type:Research Report
Document Subjects:Ecosystem - Biodiversity protection
Document Format:Report
Document File Type:pdf
Research Report Type:Consultant
WRC Report No:KV 305/12
ISBN No:978-1-4312-0348-2
Authors:Bills IR; Impson ND
Project No:K8/592
Organizations:South African Institute of Aquatic Biodiversity; CapeNature
Document Size:16 894 KB
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