Chiloglanis bifurcus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Chiloglanis bifurcus
Species Authority: Jubb & Le Roux, 1969
Common Name/s:
English Incomati Suckermouth
Taxonomic Notes: Work in progress (Bloomer et al.) suggests that Chiloglanis do not migrate very much. An analysis of population structuring would be valuable to nature conservators when developing managements plans.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2007
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Assessor/s: Engelbrecht, J. & Bills, R.
Reviewer/s: Snoeks, J. (Freshwater Fish Red List Authority) & Darwall, W. (Freshwater Biodiversity Assessment Unit)
Chiloglanis bifurcus is known from a relatively restricted range (extent of occurrence (EOO) less than 5,000 km²; area of occupancy (AOO) less than 500 km²). It is no longer extant at its type locality, probably due to loss of microhabitat. The few populations known (<10) occur in separate tributaries. Threats from habitat degradation, water extraction, and introduced alien species are ongoing. The species is not particularly common, but no data currently are available to be able to determine population size or decline rates, therefore criteria A and C cannot be used. It does, however, meet the thresholds for Endangered under criterion B.
1996 Critically Endangered
1994 Vulnerable (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Vulnerable (IUCN 1990)
1988 Vulnerable (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Restricted distribution. Known only from a few headwater tributaries (900 to 1,200 m altitude) in the Incomati system in Mpumalanga, South Africa and Swaziland.
South Africa (Mpumalanga); Swaziland
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Not very commonly collected but this is perhaps due to not targeting the correct microhabitats: deeper water flows. However, not as abundant as the co-occurring C. anoterus.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Rocky habitats in fast flowing streams and rivers. Frequently occurs together with C. anoterus but it typically inhabits deeper runs rather than rapids.
Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Appears to have gone extinct from its type locality on the Crocodile River near Lydenburg. Probably due to continuous flows released from the Kwena Dam. Additional impacts within the region are sedimentation from forestry and agricultural activities, water extraction resulting in reduced or no flows, introduced alien fishes (O. mykiss and M. salmoides) and pollution from the Ngodwana paper mill. Interestingly, previous spills from the Ngodwana paper mill which caused substantial fish kills do not seem to have affected the present species numbers in the Elands River. Rapid recovery of Elands River populations has occurred. The impacts on genetic diversity on this population is, however, not known.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The few populations remaining for this species need to be given priority for conservation efforts. Land and water use practices need to be carefully managed and stocking of alien organisms need to be stopped. Probably the best way to effect this would be through conservancy agreements with riparian land owners and Mpumalanga Parks Board.

Bibliography [top]

Baillie, J. and Groombridge, B. 1996. 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. International Union for Conservation of Nature, Gland, Switzerland.

Bills, I.R., Boycott, R.C., Fakudze, M., Khumalo, N., Msibi, J., Scott, L.E.P., Terry, S. and Tweddle, D. 2004. Fish and Fisheries of Swaziland (2002-2003). Final report: July 2004. SAIAB Investigational Report. SAIAB, Grahamstown.

Groombridge, B. (ed.). 1994. 1994 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN. 1990. 1990 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN. 2007. 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 12th September 2007).

IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre. 1988. 1988 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Skelton, P.H. 1987. South African Red Data Book - Fishes. South African National Scientific Programmes Report 137. Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Pretoria.

Skelton, P.H. 2001. A Complete Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Southern Africa. Struik Publishers, Cape Town, South Africa.

Citation: Engelbrecht, J. & Bills, R. 2007. Chiloglanis bifurcus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 16 April 2014.
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