Current distribution and ecology of the critically endangered Valencia letourneuxi in Greece

Eleni Kalogianni 1 , Sofia Giakoumi 1 , Stamatis Zogaris 1 , Yorgos Chatzinikolaou 1 , Brian Zimmerman 2 ,  and Alcibiades Economou 1
  • 1 Institute of Inland Waters, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, 46.7 km Athinon — Souniou Av., 190 13, P.O. Box 712, Anavissos, Greece
  • 2 Zoological Society of London, Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4RY, UK

Abstract

The current population status of the critically endangered Greek valencia Valencia letourneuxi (Sauvage, 1880), is presented, based on a thorough survey of low-altitude aquatic systems of Western Greece. The species’ historical geographical range appears to have been reduced, with the westernmost and southernmost populations being currently extinct or near extinction respectively, and the remaining ones in a vulnerable state. According to univariate and multivariate analysis, V. letourneuxi exhibits habitat specificity, with a strong affinity towards spring-fed wetlands with clear waters and rich surface vegetation, being thus vulnerable to human-induced habitat modifications and hydrological changes. The impact of the above threats, as well as of the introduction of alien species such as the mosquitofish Gambusia holbrooki is discussed.

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