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Aphanius saourensis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII CYPRINODONTIFORMES CYPRINODONTIDAE

Scientific Name: Aphanius saourensis
Species Authority: Blanco, Hrbek & Doadrio, 2006
Common Name(s):
English Sahara aphanius
French Aphanius saharien
Spanish Afanius sahariano

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2007-10-17
Assessor(s): Azeroual, A.
Reviewer(s): Kraïem, M. & Smith, K.
Justification:
The species is endemic to the Oued Saoura basin, and was once thought to occur throughout it. It is now only known from one remnant population (Oued Saoura basin near Mazzer) in the Sahara desert, having known to have disappeared from numerous other localities (Oued Zousfana basin at Igli, El Ouata and Kerzaz - all in the greater Saoura basin). Numerous attempts have been made to record from these localities and no specimens were found. The major threats are the introduced Gambusia species, which currently outnumber Aphanius 100 to one. Excessive groundwater extraction (for agriculture), drought and water pollution are also threatening the species. Its survival in the wild is unlikely, but a small captive breeding program is under way. It has an extent of occurrence of less than 100 km² and an area of occupancy of less than 10 km².

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The species is endemic to the Oued Saoura basin, and was once thought to occur throughout it. It is now only known from one remnant population (near Mazzer) in the Sahara desert, having known to have disappeared from numerous other localities (Oued Zousfana basin at Igli, El Ouata and Kerzaz - all in the greater Saoura basin). Numerous attempts have been made to record from these localities and no specimens were found.

Recorded from Mazzer (30° 19'N, 2°16'W) inside the Oued Saoura basin, Villwock and Scholl (1982) analyzed specimens from Igli Oasis, Oued Zousfana basin, a tributary basin to the Saoura. Specimens from El Ouata (MRAC 83-002-P-0082-0111) and Kerzaz (MRAC A3-045-P-0906) are deposited in Royal African Museum in Tervuren, both of which are within the greater Oued Saoura basin and in geographic proximity to Mazzer; Kerzaz is the most distant locality, approximately 120 km away.
Countries:
Native:
Algeria
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: No information available.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is a benthopelagic species with preferred subtropical climate.
Systems: Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is part of the aquarium trade.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Introduced Gambusia holbrookiposes a serious threat, with current densities of Gambusia to Aphanius being more than 100 to one. In addition, excessive groundwater withdrawal for agricultural purposes, the drying of wetlands, and water pollution are also main threats to the species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: A small captive breeding program is underway. More research is needed for this species, and it would benefit from habitat restoration, and the development of a Protected Area within its range.

Bibliography [top]

Pan-Africa freshwater assessment references. Currently, full citations for references used in the Pan-Africa biodiversity assessments are unavailable on the Red List web site. These will be added to the site in 2011. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.3). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 2 September 2010).


Citation: Azeroual, A. 2010. Aphanius saourensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 22 December 2014.
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