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Allochromis welcommei

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII PERCIFORMES CICHLIDAE

Scientific Name: Allochromis welcommei
Species Authority: (Greenwood, 1966)
Synonym/s:
Haplochromis welcommei Greenwood, 1966

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2010-03-31
Assessor/s: Witte, F., de Zeeuw, M.P. & Brooks, E.
Reviewer/s: Darwall, W. & Smith, K.
Justification:
This species was known to occur in Lake Victoria in the past, but it has not been seen since 1985 despite surveys in the area. The main threat to this species which was responsible for its dramatic decline in the early 1980s was the introduction of the Nile Perch (Lates niloticus) to Lake Victoria. As this can be found throughout the lake, it is very likely this species is found at very few locations, and it is therefore assessed as Vulnerable. There are some unclear specimens that seem to represent hybrids possibly of this species, so it may still be present. More information may show that this species qualifies for a higher threatened status, or may even be possibly extinct.
History:
1996 Critically Endangered (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
1996 Critically Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to Lake Victoria. It has been recorded in surveys carried out in Tanzania and Uganda (Greenwood 1981).
Countries:
Native:
Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species has declined in numbers dramatically since 1980. Frequency of occurrence data per 5 minute trawl across shallow sand in Mwanza Gulf (Witte et al. 1992) show a decrease from 19% in 1979-82, to 0% in 1987/88 and 1993/95. In data from 2006/08, only occasionally was a specimen caught that might belong to this species, however due to apparent hybridisation, these specimens cannot be confirmed.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is found over all substrates in the littoral and sub-littoral zone (along rocky shores, over sand and over mud), except vegetation. The species is a scale eater (piscivore sensu lato).
Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threat to this species is predation by Nile Perch (a potentially reversible threat). It is also potentially threatened by hybridization due to decreased water transparency (on account of eutrophication and erosion leading to increased sedimentation and runoff) interfering with mate recognition visual cues (Mrosso et al. 2003). This species is fished, although not targeted specifically.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Many fish species within Lake Victoria have suffered severe and dramatic declines since the introduction of the Nile Perch. Although numbers of the perch have now decreased, the degradation of the water quality is also thought to be having a significant impact on some fish species. More research is needed to monitor this species and how it is affected by these threats, as well as establishing the extent of its range within the lake. Policy based action is needed to decrease the degradation of the lake, as well as to prevent over fishing. Protected areas should also be established.
Citation: Witte, F., de Zeeuw, M.P. & Brooks, E. 2010. Allochromis welcommei. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 18 April 2014.
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