Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Siluriformes Cranoglanididae

Scientific Name: Cranoglanis bouderius
Species Authority: (Richardson, 1846)
Bagrus bouderius Richardson, 1846

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2ae+4ae ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2011-01-19
Assessor(s): Cui, K. & Zhao, H.
Reviewer(s): Allen, D.J., Zhou, W. & Chen, X.-Y.
The species has a relatively wide distribution in several river basins in southern China. However, once common, the species has declined by at least 50% in the last twenty years, but within the past three generations (around 10 years) the species is estimated to have decline by more than 30% (K. Cui and H. Zhou pers. comm. 2011) due to overfishing and other threats, and it is expected that the decline is likely to continue due to ongoing fishing pressure and increasing levels of pollution and habitat loss. It is assessed as Vulnerable based on the past and ongoing inferred decline.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: It is recorded from China in the Zhu Jiang River; where it is distributed in Bei Jiang River at Yingde, in the Xi Jiang River from Wuzhou to Longzhou, Liucheng and Zhaoping; at Funing County in Yunnan; at Anlong in Guizhou Province.
Countries occurrence:
China (Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan)
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It was historically common in the valley of the Zhu Jiang and especially in the Xi Jiang (rivers). The population of the fish has markedly decreased.

It is estimated that the species has declined by at least 50% in the last twenty years (K. Cui and H. Zhou pers. comm. 2011).
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: Yes
All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Found in river bottom with clear water flows. Lives on shrimps and small fishes.
Systems: Freshwater
Generation Length (years): 3-4
Congregatory: Congregatory (and dispersive)

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Main edible fish of the Zhu Jiang valley.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Overfishing has impacted the species population, as well as agricultural pollution, and dams.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Research into populations trends, distribution, and threats is needed. A research agency has captive-bred the species for aquaculture.

Classifications [top]

5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
1. Land/water protection -> 1.2. Resource & habitat protection
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.1. Harvest management
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.2. Trade management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over part of range
  Area based regional management plan:Unknown
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:No
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:Unknown
  Included in international legislation:No
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:No
5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.2. Intentional use: (large scale)
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Whole (>90%) ♦ severity: Very Rapid Declines ⇒ Impact score: High Impact: 9 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.3. Indirect species effects -> 2.3.8. Other

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.2. Dams & water management/use -> 7.2.11. Dams (size unknown)
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Whole (>90%) ♦ severity: Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score: Medium Impact: 7 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

9. Pollution -> 9.3. Agricultural & forestry effluents -> 9.3.4. Type Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity: Causing/Could cause fluctuations ⇒ Impact score: Medium Impact: 6 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
2. Conservation Planning -> 2.3. Harvest & Trade Management Plan
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.4. Habitat trends

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

IUCN. 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2011.2). Available at: (Accessed: 10 November 2011).

Nelson, J.S. 1994. Fishes of the world. John Wiley and Sons, Inc, New York, USA.

Wang, S. 1998. China red data book of endangered animals. Pisces. National Environmental Protection Agency.

Wu, X.-M, Zhou, L.-B. and Zeng X. 2010. Analysis on the flesh rate and the muscle nutrition component in Cranoglanis bouderius. Journal of Hydroecology 3(4).

Yang, J. 2008. Studies on artificial propagation and embryonic development of Cranoglanis bouderius multiradiatus. Journal of Shanghai Fisheries University 17(6): 684-688.

Zheng, C.-Y. 1989. Fishes of the Zhujiang river. Science Press, Beijing.

Zhou, L. and Ye, W. 2007. Artificial breeding and embryonic development of helmet catfish (Cranoglanis bouderius). Fisheries Science.

Citation: Cui, K. & Zhao, H. 2011. Cranoglanis bouderius. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T166213A6191057. . Downloaded on 14 October 2015.
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