Groundwater seeps as potentially important refugia for freshwater fishes on the Eastern Shores of Lake St Lucia, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

  • SM Vrdoljak Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, University of Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa
  • RC Hart School of Biological and Conservation Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X01, Scottsville 3209, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Keywords: conservation, ecology, freshwater fishes, freshwater wetlands, new distribution records, refugia


The freshwater wetlands on the Eastern Shores of Lake St Lucia provide an important habitat for freshwater fishes, including a number of IUCN Red Listed species. The ecology of these wetlands is influenced greatly by water flowing from the large sand aquifers along the lake's eastern shoreline. Of the various aquatic habitats occurring on the Eastern Shores, freshwater seeps along the shoreline of the saline Lake St Lucia are important for maintaining populations of certain freshwater fishes. The persistence of fresh water in these seeps, even during drought conditions, makes them important refugia for fish and other freshwater organisms. Several potentially new distribution records for St Lucia are reported.

African Journal of Aquatic Science 2007, 32(2): 125–132

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-9364
print ISSN: 1608-5914