Caspiomyzon wagneri 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Cephalaspidomorphi Petromyzontiformes Petromyzontidae

Scientific Name: Caspiomyzon wagneri (Kessler, 1870)
Regional Assessments:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Freyhof, J. & Kottelat, M.
Reviewer(s): Bogutskaya, N., & Smith, K. (IUCN Freshwater Biodiversity Unit)
The species is restricted to the Caspian Sea basin. It has seen a sharp decline after the construction of the dams in the 1950s and 1960s. Currently the species is rare with only a few remaining spawning sites in rivers draining from eastern Caucasus (including Sulak), Volga and Iran, where it might have stabilised at a low level. There are indications that it has formed landlocked populations in reservoirs in the lower Volga.

The area of the remaining spawnings sites is unknown, but it is suspected that the area of occupancy is less than 2,000 km². The current threat to the species is the drying of the rivers (drought), so there is most likely more than 10 locations. The species is close to meeting VU under the B2 criteria.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Caspian Sea and tributaries in Europe (Ural, Volga, Terek, Kuma) and Asia. Migrates to uppermost tributaries in Volga.
Countries occurrence:
Azerbaijan; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Kazakhstan; Russian Federation; Turkmenistan
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Only single individuals have been caught in fisheries catches in the past few years (N. Bogutskaya, pers comm.) at the Volga river mouth. There is an indication that there is a landlocked population above the Volgograd dam (status unknown). The species has aparently disapeared in the Kuma, Terek and Kura. In Iran individuals are still caught regularly (A. Abdoli, pers comm. to J. Freyhof).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Habitat:
Adults live in sea and spawn in reaches of rivers and streams with strong current. Ammocoetes live in detritus-rich sands or clay sediments.

Anadromous. Spawns in couples in March-July (River Sakmara, Ural drainage), when temperatures reach 15-23°C. Adults die after spawning. Ammocoete stage lasts 2-4 years in freshwater. Feeds on detritus and micro-organisms. After metamorphosis, juveniles migrate to the sea. In lower Volga, the occurrence of small (about 190 mm TL) and large (370-550 mm TL) mature adults implies that adults may feed one or two summers before breeding. Feeds on invertebrates and dead fish. Feeding behaviour unknown. Adults start to migrate to rivers in autumn and winter, usually in October-February. Spawning migration is not interrupted by ice flow in Volga.
Generation Length (years):10
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Until 1868, all catches were dried and used as candles or for production of oil. Only thereafter it was used as food for humans, and it is now considered a valuable and delicious fish. (Holcík 1986)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Dams of rivers in the Caspian sea in the 1950's and 1960's blocked off many spawning grounds, causing a population decline. Current threats to the species is the drying of the rivers (drought), as the species has found some new spawning grounds below the dams. The species is not poached.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No information.

Citation: Freyhof, J. & Kottelat, M. 2008. Caspiomyzon wagneri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T135706A4187207. . Downloaded on 15 October 2018.
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