Azurina eupalama 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Pomacentridae

Scientific Name: Azurina eupalama
Species Authority: Heller & Snodgrass, 1903
Common Name(s):
English Galapagos Damsel

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered () B1ab(i,ii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iv,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2008-05-27
Assessor(s): Allen, G., Robertson, R., Rivera, R.,Edgar, G., Merlen, G., Zapata, F. & Barraza, E.
Reviewer(s): Carpenter, K., Polidoro, B. & Livingstone, S. (Global Marine Species Assessment Team)
This species was previously known from only the Galápagos Islands, where it has apparently disappeared following the 1982-1983 El Niño. Recent targeted searches have not encountered any individuals. The current extent of occurrence and area of occupancy are regarded as less than 10 km², given the lack of any known individuals. Islas Lobos in Peru should be surveyed as the only potential insular site outside Galápagos where individuals may reside.
Date last seen: 1980s

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to the Eastern Pacific, and is only found in the Galápagos Islands. However, there have been no recent sightings of this species. It has evidently disappeared from the Galápagos during the intense El Niño event of 1982-1983 (Grove 1985), when greatly increased sea temperatures had strong adverse effects on the islands marine fauna and flora. Its sister species, A. hirundo occurs in a similar environment, the Revillagigedos Islands, near the northern limit of the Eastern Tropical Pacific. It may be possible that populations of A. eupalama may still exist on islands off Peru that have warm temperate conditions, such as the Lobos Islands.
Countries occurrence:
Possibly extinct:
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – southeast
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 10
Number of Locations: 1
Lower depth limit (metres): 30
Upper depth limit (metres): 5
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species may already be extinct (Robertson and Allen 2006). It was considered 'occasional' in 1977, and prior to 1982-1983 El Niño event, was recorded from Floreana, Española, Isabela, Marchena, Santiago, San Cristóbal, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe Islands in the Galapagos Archepelego. Numbers of this species were greatly reduced during 1982-1983 El Niño (Grove 1985), and there have been no sightings since that time.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species inhabits rocky inshore reefs to depths of 30 m, often in open water near drop-offs.
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Oceanographic environmental changes associated with the 1982/1983 El Niño event is presumably responsible for the apparent disappearance of this species from the Galápagos. The frequency and duration of ENSO events in this region of the Eastern Tropical Pacific (e.g., the up-welling zone off the coast of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and associated offshore islands) appears to be increasing (Glynn and Ault 2000, Soto 2001, Chen et al. 2004).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There were no conservation measures known for this species. However, it was historically present in the Galápagos Islands Marine Protected Area. More survey work in other potential areas, such as the Los Lobos Islands in Peru, is needed to determine if this species has survived outside its historically known range.

Citation: Allen, G., Robertson, R., Rivera, R.,Edgar, G., Merlen, G., Zapata, F. & Barraza, E. 2010. Azurina eupalama. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T184017A8219600. . Downloaded on 01 December 2015.
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