Protopterus annectens ssp. brieni 

Scope: Central Africa
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Sarcopterygii Lepidosireniformes Protopteridae

Scientific Name: Protopterus annectens ssp. brieni Poll, 1961
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Southern Lungfish, Lungfish
Protopterus rhinocryptis Gray, 1850

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern (Regional assessment) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-02-16
Assessor(s): Moelants, T.
Reviewer(s): Snoeks, J., Brummett, R., Nicanor, A., Dening Touokong, C., Reid, G. M., Stiassny, M., Mamonekene, V., Ndodet, B., Ifuta, S.N.B., Chilala, A., Monsembula, R., Ibala Zamba, A., Opoye Itoua, O., Pouomogne, V., Darwall, W. , Smith, K. & Allen, D.
Although there are threats known in the Luapula region (overfishing), the subspecies is listed as Least Concern because it has a relatively broad distribution and a considerable part of the species occurring in the Congo River basin is protected by the National Park of Upemba.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Central Africa assessment: Protopterus annectens brieni is known from the Luapula-Mweru and Lufira River basins in the Upper Congo River basin. Elsewhere, it is known from the middle and lower Zambezi basin and all east coast rivers south to the Limpopo River (Gosse 1984, Bell-Cross and Minshull 1988). It is also known from the Upper Cubango and Okavango system (Gosse 1984) and from Lake Rukwa (Bell-Cross and Minshull 1988). Protopterus annectens brieni has been translocated to additional sites in the Kruger National Park in South Africa (Skelton 1993).
Countries occurrence:
Angola; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Zambia
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:No information available.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Protopterus annectens brieni is a demersal, air breathing species. It is usually found in large river systems associated with floodplains or non-perennial tributary streams which flow through flat country (Bell-Cross and Minshull 1988). It has the ability to use gills and lungs to breath in and out water; when the floods recede it excavates a burrow in shallow water, deep enough to take its body, and by the time the water has disappeared the lungfish is encased in a thin membranous cocoon made from secreted mucus and mud (Bell-Cross and Minshull 1988). The aestivation lasts until the habitat is again filled with water (Skelton 1993). Protopterus annectens brieni preys mainly on slow-moving bottom-dwelling creatures such as snails, insects and worms, but also takes fish and amphibians (Skelton 1993). An U-shaped burrow is excavated to a depth of nearly 60 cm for spawning purposes. The nest is usually placed amongst the roots of aquatic vegetation where the male will attend to several females during the breeding season. He will aerate the eggs with body and fin movements and afford protection to the young for a while after incubation (Bell-Cross and Minshull 1988).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is harvested for human consumption.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Overfishing in Luapula with drawnets could pose a threat to the species. Subsistence fisheries make the species particularly vulnerable in Zimbabwe (Bell-Cross and Minshull 1988).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Since 2007 it has been prohibited to fish in Lake Mweru and the Luapula River on the Congolese site of the border. In Zambia, there is the Kasanka National Park around Lake Bangweulu. The fines did not work in this region. Even scientific collections were stopped. The government has burned 10,000 nets after measuring the nets. The governor (Morris Katunge) has paid the fishermen. Since the first of May 2008, fishing was allowed again, but with controlled mesh sizes. In the Lufira River basin, the species is protected by the National Park of Upemba. It is also protected within National Parks of Zimbabwe (Bell-Cross and Minshull 1988).

Citation: Moelants, T. 2010. Protopterus annectens ssp. brieni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T183101A8033846. . Downloaded on 22 May 2018.
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