Romanichthys valsanicola 

Scope: Global & Europe
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Percidae

Scientific Name: Romanichthys valsanicola Dumitrescu, Bănărescu & Stoica, 1957
Common Name(s):
English Asprete

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(ii,iii)+2ab(ii,iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Freyhof, J. & Kottelat, M.
Reviewer(s): Bogutskaya, N., & Smith, K. (IUCN Freshwater Biodiversity Unit)
The species was known from River Arges and its tributaries Vaslan and Raul Doamnei, however it is now only extant in a 1 km stretch of the Vaslan river. During construction of a reservoir on River Arges (1965) no water was left in the river downstream of the dam and the species disappeared. In the Valsan river, the population has been seriously impacted by stone extraction from the river, overfishing, pollution and damming of the upper part of the river. The survival of this species now depends on the continuity of water released by a single reservoir, and is was the focus of a project of the EU Life programme.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Danube drainage in Romania; formerly known from upper River Arges and its tributaries Valsan and Raul Doamnei. Today restricted to 1 km of upper River Valsan upstream of Bradet village, but adjacent basins still unsufficiently surveyed.
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:No information.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Habitat:
Fast-flowing, cold and clear mountain streams. Usually hidden under stones.

Nocturnal, bottom dweller. Territorial; possibly spawns in second half of May. 120-150 eggs are deposited under stones. Feeds on insect larvae including mayflies (Ephemeroptera) and stoneflies (Plecoptera).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Threats to the species were deforestation, construction of roads, extraction of stones, pollution and dam constructions has driven this species to the edge of extinction.
Currently the species occurs only below a dam, and exists only because enough water is released from the dam.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Presently the focus of a project of the EU Life programme (now finished), but the species distribution is within a protected area.

Classifications [top]

5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
2. Land/water management -> 2.3. Habitat & natural process restoration
3. Species management -> 3.4. Ex-situ conservation -> 3.4.1. Captive breeding/artificial propagation

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
3. Energy production & mining -> 3.2. Mining & quarrying
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

4. Transportation & service corridors -> 4.1. Roads & railroads
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.2. Dams & water management/use -> 7.2.11. Dams (size unknown)
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Banarescu, P. 2002. Romanichthys valsanicola, a highly threatened species from the Danube River basin in Romania. Blackwell Science, Oxford.

Banarescu, P., Bless, R. and Georgescu, A. 1995. Threatened fishes of the world: Romanichthys valsanicola Dumitrescu, Banarescu and Stoica, 1957 (Percidae).

Dumitrescu, M., Banarescu, P. and Stoica, N. 1957. Romanichthys valsanicola nov. gen. Nov. sp. (Pisces, Percidae).

IUCN. 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 5 October 2008).

Kottelat, M. and Freyhof, J. 2007. Handbook of European Freshwater Fishes. Publications Kottelat, Cornol, Switzerland.

Citation: Freyhof, J. & Kottelat, M. 2008. Romanichthys valsanicola. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T19740A9008207. . Downloaded on 22 August 2018.
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