Current distribution of the southern barred minnow, Opsaridium peringueyi (Pisces: Cyprinidae), in South Africa: Is there reason for concern?

  • JA Venter
  • PSO Fouché
  • W Vlok


In South Africa, relatively small, but healthy populations of Opsaridium peringueyi remain in the middle reaches of the Luvuvhu, Blyde, Sabie and Pongolo Rivers. The species may be extinct in some rivers like the Shingwedzi and lower-Olifants and its status is uncertain in the Crocodile and lower Komati/Mlumati Rivers. In many cases the rivers are transformed by the combined impact of alien species, dams and weirs, water abstraction, water regulation, pollution from industrial, agricultural, mining, forestry and urban areas as well as by sedimentation. These factors have caused the species distribution to become fragmented and have made it vulnerable to possible extinction. Because of the transformed nature of river systems in South Africa, the use of older historical data for biodiversity planning and conservation assessments might increase the risk of underrating conservation status and risks.

African Zoology 45(2): 244–253 (October 2010)

Author Biographies

JA Venter
School of Biological and Conservation Sciences, University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban, 4041 South Africa; Scientific Services, Eastern Cape Parks Board, P.O. Box 11235, Southernwood, East London, 5213 South Africa
PSO Fouché
Zoology Department, University of Venda, Private Bag X5050, Thohoyandou, 0950 South Africa
W Vlok
Centre for Aquatic Research, Department of Zoology, University of Johannesburg, P.O. Box 524, Auckland Park, Johannesburg, 2006 South Africa

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2224-073X
print ISSN: 1562-7020