Sandelia bainsii 

Scope: Global, Pan-Africa & Southern Africa
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Anabantidae

Scientific Name: Sandelia bainsii Castelnau, 1861
Common Name(s):
English Eastern Cape Rocky
Taxonomic Notes: DNA-based studies have shown that there are two genetic lineages within Sandelia bainsii; a southern lineage that is distributed in the Kowie, Great Fish and Keiskamma river systems, and a northern lineage that occurs in the Igoda and Buffalo river systems (Roos 2005, Chakona et al. unpublished. Samples from the Xulu and Nahoon river systems have not yet been analysed genetically. Morphological assessments and additional genetic analyses are being done to determine whether or not the northern and southern lineages of S. bainsii represent two distinct species. Both lineages will be included in this assessment, pending findings from the ongoing taxonomic evaluation of this species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(ii,iii,iv,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2018
Date Assessed: 2017-12-05
Assessor(s): Chakona, A., Sifundza , D. & Kadye, W.T.
Reviewer(s): Weyl, O.
Contributor(s): Cambray, J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Van Der Colff, D.
The species is currently known from five to eight locations based on the major threat which is the distribution of invasive alien species: the Bloukranz Pool in the Kowie River System, the Koonap and Kat river catchments in the Great Fish River System, the Keiskamma River System, the Gxulu River System, the Igoda River System, the Buffalo River System, and the Nahoon River System. Only two specimens of Eastern Cape Rocky (Sandelia bainsii) were sampled from Bloukranz Pool during extensive surveys of the Kowie River System in 2014. A longitudinal survey conducted in 2017/18 revealed no specimens. The Kowie River population is thus either extirpated or at extremely low abundance. Recent comprehensive surveys of the Great Fish River System revealed that the Edge Hill Farm population in the Koonap River is most likely extirpated, whereas severe decline in population size was recorded in eNyara River (only six individuals were sampled despite extensive sampling of the river reach where the species was historically common). The present distribution pattern of this species in the Kat River is similar to the historical pattern, indicating that this population has remained fairly stable. The Kat River population is however severely fragmented due to presence of several weirs as well as the Kat River Dam, which may affect gene flow between the remnant populations, and hence potentially affect their long-term evolutionary potential or persistence. The Kat River population is potentially threatened by the presence of non-native species, particularly the African Sharptooth Catfish (Clarias gariepinus) which has successfully invaded the lower and middle sections of the Kat River. African Sharptooth Catfish,  Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio) and Bass species (Micropterus spp.) have also been introduced into Kat River Dam where they pose a threat to the Sandelia population in the upper Kat River. Small populations in the Gxulu and Igoda river systems are threatened by agriculture, and the population in Yellowwoods River of the Buffalo River System is threatened by an inter-basin transfer from Wriggleswade Dam (Kubusi River System) as this may facilitate the translocation of alien invasive species. The Nahoon River population is almost extirpated. The estimated area of occupancy (AOO) is 168 km². The species is experiencing ongoing decline due to habitat loss and spread of alien invasive species. More than 50% of the populations are small and isolated with only three viable subpopulations (the Kat, Keiskamma and Buffalo) and five non-viable subpopulations (the Kowie, Koonap, Gxulu, Igoda and Nahoon). The remnant populations are thus severely fragmented. The species is assessed as Endangered under criteria B2ab(ii,iii,iv,v).
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Eastern Cape Rocky (Sandelia bainsii) is endemic to the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, where it occurs in small sections of the Kowie, Great Fish, Keiskamma, Igoda, Gxulu, Buffalo and Nahoon river systems (Skelton 2001). Genetic studies have revealed existence of two lineages within this species, a southern lineage that occurs in the Kowie, Great Fish and Keiskamma river systems, and a northern lineage that occurs in the Igoda and Buffalo river systems (Roos 2005, Chakona et al., in prep). No samples have been collected from the Gxulu and Nahoon for genetic analysis to determine their placement.
Countries occurrence:
South Africa (Eastern Cape Province)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:168Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:
Number of Locations:5
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Ongoing decline in population sizes is likely. The Kowie River population is almost extirpated, the Koonap River population has severely declined and the population at Edge Hill Farm, in the Koonap is likely extinct because no specimens were found despite extensive surveys in 2017 ( Chakona unpublished data), whereas the eNyara River population is represented by only a few remaining individuals. More than 50% of the populations are small and isolated with only three viable subpopulations (the Kat, Buffalo and Keiskamma) and five non-viable subpopulations (Kowie, Koonap, Gxulu, Igoda and Nahoon). The remnant populations are thus severely fragmented. The Kowie, Koonap, Gxulu and Nahoon rivers populations are almost extirpated. Regular surveys are required to monitor the status of these remnant populations and to inform conservation actions.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:Yes
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Occurs in rocky streams, favouring marginal habitats where the current is slow (Mayekiso 1986, Skelton 2001). A predator on insects, crabs and small fish, it holes up in crevices and waits for prey to pass by. Breeds in summer, males make a nest and after spawning guard the developing eggs and young fish (Mayekiso & Hecht 1990, Cambray 1997).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Major threats are habitat alteration, potential competition from and predation by invasive alien species particularly predators such as Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) and African Sharptooth Catfish, excessive water abstraction, interbasin transfer  that may introduce non-native species, siltation and water pollution. The Kowie River System, the eNyara River and lower Kat River have been severely impacted by agricultural activities that have modified instream habitat as well as pollution from urban settlements situated in the upper catchments of these rivers.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Educational resources have been developed and distributed in the past. These awareness campaigns need to be revived. Genetic studies are urgently required to assess the genetic diversity and determine the long-term evolutionary potential and viability of the severely fragmented populations of this species. This information is crucial for identifying populations with low levels of genetic diversity and may thus need to be considered for potential genetic rescue. Habitat restoration and reintroduction would also need to be considered, but all conservation actions should be informed by scientific data generated through dedicated ecological and genetic studies. Immediate conservation efforts should be aimed at securing the remnant populations against potential invasion by non-native species, while long-term efforts are needed, particularly focusing on eradication of alien fishes from critical habitats and habitat restoration.

Citation: Chakona, A., Sifundza , D. & Kadye, W.T. 2018. Sandelia bainsii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T19889A99447325. . Downloaded on 22 September 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided