Sandelia bainsii


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Sandelia bainsii
Species Authority: Castelnau, 1861
Common Name(s):
English Eastern Cape Rocky
Taxonomic Notes: Genetic work has shown that there are two management units, those in the Great Fish and Kowie Rivers and those in the Buffalo River area.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(ii,iii)+2ab(ii,iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2007
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Assessor(s): Cambray, J.
Reviewer(s): Tweddle, D., Bills, R. (Freshwater Fish Red List Authority) & Darwall, W. (Freshwater Biodiversity Assessment Unit)
The Kowie River population is almost extirpated. Great Fish River populations are under threat from the alien invasive Clarias gariepinus which is spreading, small populations in the Gulu and Igoda Rivers are threatened by agriculture, and the population in Yellowwoods River of the Buffalo River system is threatened by interbasin transfer bringing alien invasives. The Nahoon River population is almost extirpated. The population is severely fragmented (subpopulations occur at Kowie, Koonap, Kat (Great Fish), Tyume (Keiskamma), Igoda, Gulu, Yellowwoods (Buffalo), and Nahoon). Extent of occurrence (EOO) is less than 5,000 km², and area of occupancy (AOO) has been reduced (e.g., in Kowie the area occupied by the species may be less than 1 km² (based on 1 km grid overlay and current quality of habitat). Only two viable subpopulations exist: Kat and Yellowwoods. The other subpopulations are not viable for the long term. The population is therefore considered to be severely fragmented (more than 50% of locations are probably non-viable at present). Only five locations remain, thus the species qualifies for Endangered under criterion B.
1996 Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Nahoon, Buffalo, Igoda, Gulu,Keiskamma, Great Fish, Kowie Rivers all in the Eastern Cape South Africa.
South Africa (Eastern Cape Province)
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Not known but decreasing and almost extirpated in the Kowie and Nahoon Rivers. Estimated numbers in the Gulu and Igoda Rivers less than 100 mature fish.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Occurs in rocky streams, favouring marginal habitats where the current is slow (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.
Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Introduced fish such as largemouth and smallmouth bass and the sharptooth catfish (Clarias gariepinus). Water abstraction, interbasin transfers and siltation and water pollution.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Educational resources have been developed and distributed. A barrier is needed to bass movement in Yellowwoods river. A captive breeding programme is also needed and possibly benign introductions if viable habitats are identified within the original catchments.

Bibliography [top]

Baillie, J. and Groombridge, B. (eds). 1996. 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. pp. 378. International Union for Conservation of Nature, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Groombridge, B. (ed.). 1994. 1994 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN. 1990. 1990 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN. 2007. 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 12th September 2007).

IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre. 1988. 1988 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Skelton, P.H. 2001. A Complete Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Southern Africa. Struik Publishers, Cape Town, South Africa.

Citation: Cambray, J. 2007. Sandelia bainsii. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 03 September 2015.
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