Freshwater Fishes are now considered to be the most threatened group of Vertebrates globally...
The fresh waters of rivers, lakes, ponds, estuaries and wetlands comprise only 0.3% of the worlds available surface water, but these systems support more than 50% of all known fish species!
The Critically Endangered Heuningnes Redfin, Pseudobarbus sp. “burchelli Heuningnes” occurs within the Heuningnes River System, which consists of 5 Quartenary Catchments, comprised of the Kars, Nuwejaars and Heuningnes Rivers.
The Heuningnes Redfin Research Project's focus is on determining the distribution of native and non-native freshwater fish species across these 5 Quartenary Catchments across the Overberg. This projects is run in collaboration with various organizations specific to their area of operation across these 5 Quartenary Catchements. These organizations include the Agulhas National Park, Cape Nature, Freshwater Research Centre, Fynbos Trust, Nuwejaars Wetland SMA, and the Overberg Renosterveld Conservation Trust.
This project forms part of Keir's MSc with the University of Cape Town and will focus on in-depth water quality sampling, surface water runoff as well as land-use implications for water quality and the aquatic biodiversity in this catchment alongside the identification of the threats this Critically Endangered Species faces.
The Cape Fold Ecoregion (CFE) is a hotspot for endemism with freshwater fishes if which 60% are either Endangered (EN) or Critically Endangered (CR).
Recent biogeographical and taxonomical research has indicated that the diversity of freshwater fishes in the CFE has been drastically underestimated. Many species that we have thought of as widespread are now being split into species complexes consisting of geneteically unique lineages limited to single river systems.
This is the case with the Breede River Redfin, previously Pseudobarbus burchelli which has now been split into three distinct lineages.
Pseudobarbus burchelli is now recognized as the Tradouw River Redfin (CR), with Pseudobarbus sp. "burchelli breede" widespread across the Overberg Disgtrict and Pseudobarbus sp. "burchelli heuningnes" limited to the Heuningnes River System that covers the central Overberg wheatbelt and the Agulhas Plains
This is our target species, the Heuningnes Redfin, which is also listed as Critically Endangered.
Heuningnes Redfin - Pseudobarbus sp "burchelli heuningnes"
Cape Galaxias - Galaxias sp. "zebratus nebula"
Cape Kurper - Sandelia sp."capensis agulhas"
Spotted Bass - Micropterus punctulatus (Invasive)
Blue-gilled Sunfish - Lepomis macrochirus (Invasive)
The Heuningnes Redfin Research Project is self-funded by Bionerds - we rely on support from our followers and sponsorships from businesses such as the Fynbos Trust and Marine Dynamics to enable us to buy and replace critical equipment to further our research into the
Critically Endangered Heuningnes Redfin.