Phreatobius sanguijuela 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Siluriformes Heptapteridae

Scientific Name: Phreatobius sanguijuela Fernández, Saucedo, Carvajal-Vallejos & Schaefer, 2007

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2014-04-24
Assessor(s): Sarmiento, J., Maldonado, M. & Carvajal, F.
Reviewer(s): Tognelli, M. & Reis, R.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Abba, A.M.

This species is listed as Critically Endangered because its distribution is restricted to a community well, and there is continuing decline in the number of mature individuals due to by-catch when extracting water. There is also continuing decline in the quality of the habitat due to chlorination of the water for purification. Monitoring of the population and education programs with the local communities are recommended.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs in Bolivia in the Iténez River basin (Carvajal-Vallejos and Zeballos Fernández 2011). It is only known from the type locality in the Porvenir community (13°59'14.44"S, 61°32'27.05"W), Santa Cruz department, approximately 2 km off the Paraguá River, in the Iténez River basin at 172 m of elevation (Fernández et al. 2007, Carvajal-Vallejos and Fernández 2008, Van Damme et al. 2009). The area of occupancy is estimated to be 4 km² (overlaying a grid cell of 2 x 2 km on the only known locality). Based on the main threat affecting it (by-catch mortality), this species appears to occur at only one location.
Countries occurrence:
Bolivia, Plurinational States of
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:4
Number of Locations:1
Lower elevation limit (metres):172
Upper elevation limit (metres):172
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is only known from one population, being rarely captured and their abundance suspected to be very low. Its population size is unknown (Carvajal-Vallejos and Fernández 2008 in Van Damme et al. 2009, Van Damme et al. 2011).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species lives in subterranean waters between 6 and 12 m of depth. The water depth of the well where it was found was approximately 1 m, with silty, loose sandy bottom and uncoated walls (Van Damme et al. 2009). It is believed to have a diet similar to two individuals observed in captivity, (Muriel-Cunha and de Pinna 2005, Shibatta et al. 2007), which consists on mature and immature insects and other invertebrates (Carvajal-Vallejos and Fernández 2008 in Van Damme et al. 2009).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not used or traded.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threats to this species are by-catch and killing because it is seen as a risk for human health. They are generally mistaken for leeches due to its bright, blood-red coloration (Fernandez et al. 2007). It is potentially threatened due to chlorination of the water for purification in the majority of the surrounding domestic wells (Carvajal-Vallejos and Fernández 2008 in Van Damme et al. 2009, Van Damme et al. 2011).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is present in a locality adjacent to the Lower Paraguá Noel Kempff Mercado National Park Original Community Reserve (or TCO). It is listed as Vulnerable in the Red Book of Bolivia, 2008 (Carvajal-Vallejos and Fernández 2008 in Van Damme et al. 2009).  The proposed conservation means are to elaborate an education project, to inform local communities living in the surroundings of the type locality about this species' most outstanding features, emphasizing that it is not a threat to humans and about its value as water quality indicator. Research is needed to collect additional information on its distribution, habitat, ecology, life history, anatomy and phylogenetic relationships (morphological and molecular) (Carvajal-Vallejos and Fernández 2008 in Van Damme et al. 2009).

Citation: Sarmiento, J., Maldonado, M. & Carvajal, F. 2016. Phreatobius sanguijuela. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T49830568A53818543. . Downloaded on 25 May 2018.
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