Freshwater fish are threatened with extinction


Some aquatic species present in rivers are threatened with extinction.
Paula Gonçalves Paula Gonçalves Weathered Portugal 5 minutes

According to the article from Guardianalmost a fifth of freshwater fish species are threatened with extinction due to climate change, the effects of lowering water levels, rising sea water levels in rivers and seasonal changes.

Kathy Hughes, co-chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission freshwater fish specialist group, says freshwater fish make up more than half of the world’s known fish species.

According to the first assessment of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, 3,086 of the 14,898 assessed species are threatened with extinction.

This list includes the large-toothed thief of Lake Turkana in Kenya and the giant Mekong catfish in Southeast Asia. Mahogany, Atlantic salmon and green turtles are also increasingly threatened.

Previously on the endangered species list, the saiga antelope has seen its population increase by 1,100 percent in just seven years, particularly in Kazakhstan.

Saiga antelope
Saiga antelopes are native to Kazakhstan, and after being listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, their population appears to be recovering.

Another success, according to the scientific community, was the reintroduction of the saber-horned oryx in Chad. This mammal, common throughout the Sahel, disappeared in the 1990s due to overhunting.

After its reintroduction into captivity, the population in the Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim nature reserve in Chad increased to 140 adult animals. However, the species is still classified as threatened due to the climate crisis.

“Success stories like that of the saber-horned oryx prove that conservation works. To ensure that the results of conservation actions are long-lasting, we must decisively address the interconnected crises of climate and biodiversity,” he said. Razan Al Mubarak, president IUCN.

Fauna and flora on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature

Atlantic salmon, a species that has been classified as “Least Concern” it is now classified as ‘Near Threatened’ on the IUCN Red List after its global population declined by 23% and it disappeared from many British rivers.

This fish, which lives in both fresh and salt water, has been hit by widespread habitat loss due to global warming and dams blocking access to breeding grounds.

Farmed salmon farming has weakened their ability to adapt to global warming, while the invasive Pacific pink salmon is spreading into northern Europe.

Pacific green turtle
This species of turtle is on the verge of extinction due to excessive temperature increase and rising sea levels.

According to scientists, even the green turtle is in danger of disappearing in the south central and eastern Pacific. Unfortunately, this species is repeatedly caught in industrial and artisanal fisheries, and its eggs are considered a delicacy in some countries.

Rising global temperatures are also affecting egg-laying success, and rising sea temperatures are sinking their nests.


In addition to fish species, flora is also threatened due to unsustainable exploitation.

This is the case with the big leaf mahogany, one of the most commercially sought after plants on the planet. Its number has decreased by 60% over the last 180 years. Mahogany wood is still valuable for furniture, musical instruments, and decorations, which has led to illegal felling of the tree in Central and South America.

Mahogany wood is widely used in furniture making. Many appreciate this material for its ease of processing, stability and durability.

It is very important to ensure good management of freshwater ecosystems so that sufficient water continues to flow freely and that water quality is good to stop species decline and maintain food security.

Link to the article:

Patrick Greenfield, A quarter of the world’s freshwater fishes are at risk of extinction, as assessed (2023).


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