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Kiunga ballochi

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII ATHERINIFORMES PSEUDOMUGILIDAE

Scientific Name: Kiunga ballochi
Species Authority: Allen, 1983
Common Name/s:
English Ballochs Blue-eye, Glass Blue-eye

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A2ace ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2007-03-09
Assessor/s: Jenkins, A., Kullander, F.F. & Tan, H.H.
Reviewer/s: Collen, B., Darwall, W., Ram, M. & Smith, K. (SRLI Freshwater Fish Evaluation Workshop)
Justification:
Assessed as Critically Endangered due to an inferred population decline of greater than 80% over the past ten years. This is inferred from a severe decline in habitat quality and from an increase in water pollution within the probable distribution of the species. In addition, this species has not been found in the wild for over ten years. The proposed searches for this species are urgently required. If no individuals are located, K. ballochi may in fact be extinct in the wild (Jenkins, pers. comm.).
History:
1996 Critically Endangered
1994 Vulnerable (Groombridge 1994)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is known only from a few small creeks along a 15-20 km stretch of the Ok Tedi Mine supply road between Kiunga and Tabubil which is part of the Upper Fly River system, Papua New Guinea. Most specimens have been collected from tributaries of the Ok Smak River. It is probably restricted to tributaries of the Ok Smak River and tributaries to adjacent rivers within the upper Fly River basin (Jenkins, pers. comm.).

The Ok Smak River lies within the upper Fly River basin, but as K. ballochi is not likely to be found in the main stem of the Fly River, it is therefore restricted to an area which covers 15,283 km².
Countries:
Native:
Papua New Guinea
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: When it was first discovered in 1982, the species was reported as being moderately common. Attempts to locate the fish at the type locality in 1994-1995 were unsuccessful. The species has not been found in the wild for over ten years in the type or adjacent localities (Jenkins, Pers. comm.).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: K. ballochi is a demersal species that inhabits narrow, clear creeks flowing through rainforest in generally flat terrain. Species from the family Pseudomugliidae normally congregate in schools.
Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is suspected that K. ballochi has been severely impacted by habitat degradation. The type locality of this species and adjacent suitable habitats have been extensively damaged by associated activities of the Ok Tedi copper and gold mine (Jenkins, pers. comm.). Not only has the freshwater habitat of this species been altered through the construction of a road leading to Ok Tedi mine, but its proximity to the mine means that it is likely to be affected by pollution. Sedimentation and toxic runoff has greatly reduced fish catches from the Ok Tedi and Fly River systems. It has been reported that even after the mine is closed in approximately fifteen years, recovery may take another twenty years. Exotic fish species are also a concern in this region, which may be affecting K. ballochi (WWF 2001).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Further searches for K. ballochi in more remote areas surrounding the type locality have been proposed for August 2007 (Jenkins, pers. comm.). There are no conservation measures in place at present.
Citation: Jenkins, A., Kullander, F.F. & Tan, H.H. 2009. Kiunga ballochi. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 16 April 2014.
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