Conservation biology and management of a critically endangered cyprinid, the Twee River redfin, Barbus erubescens (Teleostei: Cyprinidae), of the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa

  • ND Impson Western Cape Nature Conservation Board, Private Bag X5014, Stellenbosch 7599, South Africa
  • MS Marriott Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science, Rhodes University, PO Box 94, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
  • IR Bills South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, Private Bag 1015, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
  • PH Skelton South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, Private Bag 1015, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa

Abstract

The Twee River redfin Barbus erubescens is a critically endangered small cyprinid endemic to the Twee River System, a subcatchment of the Olifants-Doring River System of South Africa. It is currently the most threatened freshwater fish in both the Cape Floristic Region and South Africa. It inhabits deep pools in perennial rivers that have an abundance of instream and marginal vegetation and rock cover. Key threats include four introduced invasive fish species and habitat degradation due to increasing intensive agriculture in the Twee River catchment. Unless appropriate management action is taken, it may become the first freshwater fish species in South Africa to become extinct. The purchase of key riparian properties, the eradication of invasive species from part of the river system, the promotion of land-owner awareness, and the establishment of a conservancy as part of a longterm recovery programme are recommended to conserve B. erubescens effectively.

Keywords: Barbus erubescens, Cape Floristic Region, conservation, invasive alien fish, threatened endemic fishes

African Journal of Aquatic Science 2007, 32(1): 27–33
Published
2007-05-23
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1727-9364
print ISSN: 1608-5914