Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Cypriniformes Cyprinidae

Scientific Name: Pseudophoxinus syriacus
Species Authority: (Lortet, 1883)
Common Name(s):
English Barada Spring Minnow
Rhodeus syriacus Lortet, 1883
Taxonomic Source(s): Eschmeyer, W.N. (ed.). 2014. Catalog of Fishes. Updated 10 March 2014. Available at: http://
Taxonomic Notes: Initially recorded as Phoxinellus libani. Should be Pseudophoxinus syriacus (N. Bogutskaya, pers. comm.).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) A2c; B2ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2013-03-18
Assessor(s): Freyhof, J.
Reviewer(s): Hamidan, N.A.M., Alwan, N. & Smith, K.
This species is known from one site only and has recently experienced a decline of more than 90% due to water abstraction. It is suspected to have already become extinct or to be likely to become so in the near future. The species is assessed as Critically Endangered as it is only known from one site which is about 1 km long (extent of occurrence and area of occupancy are both around 2 km²), which continues to be threatened by water abstraction.
Date last seen: 2008
Previously published Red List assessments:
2006 Critically Endangered (CR)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This fish is known only from Syria, at the source of Barada stream in the Damascus basin.
Countries occurrence:
Possibly extinct:
Syrian Arab Republic
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 2
Number of Locations: 1
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


The population was and still is in continuous decline due to water abstraction and massive pollution. It was already restricted to the spring of Baradá in the late 20th century. In 2008, the spring of Baradá was almost completely drained to meet the rapid population growth, urbanization and industrialization and use the water for intensive irrigation. As a result, the large spring pool mostly dried out and the species has lost more than 90% of its population. The species occurred there and as a small population in the canal draining the small spring pool for about 1 km length. In the meantime, this spring might have been drained thus putting the species on the verge of extinction. 

Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Springs and spring feed streams with clear waters and dense vegetation.
Systems: Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 1-3
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Water extraction is currently the most important threat and it seems only a matter of time until the remaining water is also drained and the whole spring area falls dry. Urbanization and canalization are considered to be major threats as well. 

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No conservation actions are known to be in place. The site should be urgently revisited and the species should be taken into an ex-situ breeding program to avoid its extinction.

Citation: Freyhof, J. 2014. Pseudophoxinus syriacus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T61281A19009764. . Downloaded on 07 October 2015.
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