The species was rare in the past and the population has declined since the 1970s due to the introduction of the Nile Perch (Lates niloticus). Whilst many Haplochromis species suffered dramatic population crashes, many have shown signs of recovery in the last few years, however this species has not been seen since 1980. If it is still present it is likely to be extremely rare with very few individuals, but it may now be Extinct.
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.
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.
IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.3). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 2 September 2010).
van Oijen, M.J.P. and de Zeeuw, M.P. 2008. Haplochromis vonlinnei spec. nov., a new piscivorous haplochromine cichlid (Teleostei, Perciformes) from the Mwanza Gulf area of Lake Victoria, Tanzania. Zoologische Mededelingen 82(17): 167-175.
Witte, F., de Zeeuw, M.P. & Brooks, E. 2010. Haplochromis vonlinnei. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T185813A8483086. . Downloaded on 29 November 2015.
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