Holacanthus clarionensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Pomacanthidae

Scientific Name: Holacanthus clarionensis
Species Authority: Gilbert, 1890
Common Name(s):
English Clarion Angelfish
Spanish Ángel, Angel de Clarión, Ángel de Clarión
French Demoiselle de Clarion

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-10-10
Assessor(s): Pyle, R., Myers, R., Rocha, L.A. & Robertson, R.
Reviewer(s): Elfes, C., Polidoro, B., Livingstone, S. & Carpenter, K.E.
The vast majority of the species' population occurs at a single location in the Revillagigedo Islands, where it is restricted to reef habitat with an estimated area of occupancy of less than 50 km2. It has previously been collected for the aquarium trade. Regional experts support the plausible threat of the increased duration and frequency of ENSO events that can cause severe and rapid declines for restricted-range, shallow-water species. This species qualifies for Vulnerable under Criterion D2. However, more research is needed on this phenomenon, and this species should be reassessed when new information is available.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This eastern central Pacific species appears to have a limited distribution. It is primarily found around the Revillagigedo Islands (Mexico), including Clarion Island (Isla Clarión). Occasional vagrants are recorded from the southern tip of Baja California (Mexico), the southeastern Gulf of California (Mexico), and Clipperton Island (overseas possession of France). It is found at depths of 3-30 m.
Countries occurrence:
France (Clipperton I.)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – eastern central
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:50
Number of Locations:2
Lower depth limit (metres):30
Upper depth limit (metres):3
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is considered abundant at the Revillagigedo Islands where an estimated 99% of the total population is present, and presumed to be stable. According to Robertson and Allen (1996), this fish is considered vagrant at Clipperton Island, with fewer than 20 individuals recorded.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species inhabits clear water rocky reefs. Little additional information is currently available on the natural history of this species.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species was formerly collected from the Revillagigedo Islands for the aquarium trade (Fenner 1995), however this island group is now included within a marine protected area and collection of fishes is prohibited. Endoh (2007) notes that it is generally not traded as an aquarium fish and is rarely available and expensive.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

This species has a restricted distribution with the majority of the population confined to a reef habitat in a single location (two locations if Clarion is considered separate from the other three islands), and its area of occupancy is estimated to be less than <50 km2. It has previously been collected for the aquarium trade.

In the Eastern Tropical Pacific, severe localized fish species declines have occurred after strong ENSO events that result in shallow waters that are too warm and nutrient poor for extended periods of time (Grove 1985, Edgar et al. 2009). The frequency and duration of ENSO events in this region of the Eastern Tropical Pacific (e.g. the up-welling zone off the coast of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama and the offshore islands) appears to be increasing (Glynn and Ault 2000, Soto 2001, Chen et al. 2004). Given this species restricted distribution and shallow water habitat, oceanographic environmental changes, such as those associated with future ENSO events, may have detrimental effects on the survival of this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

This species is almost entirely limited to the Revillagigedo Islands Marine Protected Area with collection of animals prohibited in Mexican waters (Endoh 2007). This species should be carefully monitored, given its restricted range and shallow reef-associated habitat.

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.2. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:Yes
In-Place Education
11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.5. Other impacts
♦ timing:Future ♦ scope:Whole (>90%) ♦ severity:Very Rapid Declines ⇒ Impact score:Medium Impact: 7 

5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.1. Intentional use: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Unknown ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:No decline ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Allen, G.R. 1980. Butterfly and angelfishes of the world. Wiley, New York.

Allen, G.R., Steene, R. and Allen, M. 1998. A guide to angelfishes and butterflyfishes. Odyssey Publishing/Tropical Reef Research.

Chen, D., Cane, M.A., Kaplan, A., Zebiaks, S.E. and Huang, D. 2004. Predictability of El Niño over the past 148 years. Nature 428: 733-736.

Edgar, G.J., Banks, S.A., Brandt, M., Bustamante, R.H., Chiriboga, A., Earle, S.A., Garske, L.E., Glynn, P.W., Grove, J.S., Henderson, S., Hickman, C.P., Miller, K.A., Rivera, F. and Wellington, G.M. 2009. El Niño, grazers and fisheries interact to greatly elevate extinction risk for Galapagos marine species. Global Change Biology doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2009.02117.x.

Endoh, K. 2007. Angelfishes of the World. Two Little Fishies, Inc., Miami Gardens, Florida.

Fenner, R. 1995. Three Amigo Angels from Baja. Tropical Fish Hobbyist 43(11): 28-38.

Glynn, P.W. and Ault, J.S. 2000. A biogeographic analysis and review of the far eastern Pacific coral reef region. Coral Reefs 19(1): 1-23.

Grove, J.S. 1985. Influence of the 1982-1983 El Niño event upon the ichthyofauna of the Galápagos archipelago. Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands, Quito, Ecuador.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.4). Available at: (Accessed: 27 October 2010).

Krupp, F. and Schneider, W. 1995. Pomacanthidae. Angeles. In: W. Fischer, F. Krupp, W. Schneider, C. Sommer, K.E. Carpenter and V. Niem (eds), Guia FAO para Identification de Especies para lo Fines de la Pesca. Pacifico Centro-Oriental. 3 Vols., pp. 1388-1391. FAO, Rome.

Robertson, D.R. and Allen, G.R. 1996. Zoogeography of the shorefish fauna of Clipperton Atoll. Coral Reefs 15(2): 121-131.

Soto, C.G. 2001. The potential impacts of global climate change on marine protected areas. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 11(3): 181-195.

Citation: Pyle, R., Myers, R., Rocha, L.A. & Robertson, R. 2010. Holacanthus clarionensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T165861A6151012. . Downloaded on 30 April 2017.
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