Gambusia dominicensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Cyprinodontiformes Poeciliidae

Scientific Name: Gambusia dominicensis Regan, 1913
Common Name(s):
English Domingo Gambusia, Domingo Mosquito Fish, Dominican Gambusia

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Assessor(s): Snoeks, J., Laleye, P. & Contreras-MacBeath, T.
Reviewer(s): Collen, B., Darwall, W., Ram, M. & Smith, K. (SRLI Freshwater Fish Evaluation Workshop)
Assessed as Endangered as this species extent of occurrence is 272 km² which qualifies for endangered under B1 and B2. The two lakes that this species occupies can each be classed as one location, as it is likely that habitat degradation or other threat processes would effect the whole lake. A continuing decline in the quality of this species' habitat is caused by urban growth around the lakes, eutrophication and waste. A continuing decline in the volume of Lake Enriquillo will also reduce the area available for G. dominicensis to inhabit.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species' native range is Lac Azuei in Haiti (111.6 km²) and Lago Enriquillo (259.5 km²) in the Dominican Republic.

It has been distributed around the world by the aquarium fish trade, but has so far only been recorded only in the Northern Territory, Australia. It was apparently introduced to billabongs and streams in the vicinity of Alice Springs in the 1940s and 50s for the purpose of mosquito control (Duguid et al. 2002, Allen et al. 2002), but is not yet established (Bomford and Glover 2004).
Countries occurrence:
Dominican Republic; Haiti
Additional data:
Number of Locations:2
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The global population is decreasing, although detailed numbers are lacking.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:G. dominicensis is a benthopelagic, viviparous species, that can inhabit lakes, streams and billabongs.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are several threats to the species' native habitat. Urban growth in Fonds Parisien at the southern shore of Lac Azuei causes increased levels of eutrophication, visible through increased growth of algae. At Lago Enriquillo this problem is not as obvious, since all surrounding communities are more than three kilometers away from the lake shore and domestic and agricultural waste water is filtered by cattails and other vegetation. Solid waste is a great problem for both lakes, as winds blow plastics into the lakes and the surrounding communities dump rubbish into dry river beds, which gets washed into the lakes during rainy periods (Schubert 2006).

Lago Enriquillo's level and water conditions depend heavily on the Río Yaque del Sur. The majority of the Yaque water is diverted towards the Azua coastal plain, where it is used for irrigation. Many times the canals that drain Yaque water toward Lago Enriquillo are filled with sediment. In years with low rainfall Lago Enriquillo's water level drops within a short time, exposing large areas of its lake bed. The diversion of irrigation water from Yaque del Sur is a threat to the existence of the lake. During the last 20 years the lake has lost about two thirds of its volume (Schubert 2006).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Lac Azuei is a Nature Reserve, however, it appears to exist only on paper. There is no personnel and no infrastructure. Lago Enriquillo has become the first Dominican Ramsar Site and comprises one of the cores of ENRIQUILLO – BAHORUCO – JARAGUA Biosphere Reserve. Lago Enriquillo has been a national park since 1996 and a body of 20 park rangers now regularly survey the lake and its shores (Schubert 2006).

The watershed of the two lakes was chosen for the first attempt between Dominican and Haitian governments to work closely together in order to improve the environmental situation. The project, the Transboundary Environmental Program (PMT), has a team composed of Haitian and Dominican professionals. It is financially supported from the European Union and the two governments involved. The program PMT intends to establish wise use practices in both lakes and their corresponding watersheds (Schubert 2006).

Citation: Snoeks, J., Laleye, P. & Contreras-MacBeath, T. 2009. Gambusia dominicensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T169400A6617999. . Downloaded on 22 June 2018.
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