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Visit To Some Habitats Of Aphanius Iberus In Catalunya
December 16, 2010
10:01 am
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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It's the worst time of year to see fishes right now but I had a visitor from Austria the other week who wanted to see some Aphanius habitats. We planned to visit the Torrent del Pí where I'd been several times before plus two new places where the fish have supposedly been introduced in the last decade.

First stop was the Torrent del Pí. In summer this beautiful little habitat is full of aquatic plants and A. iberus and Valencia hispanica can be observed spawning from the bank. Winter is a little different - the plants die back and fishes conceal themselves in the substrate. As a result we didn't catch much but still managed three of this year's young Aphanius which were of course released once photographed:

Like most remaining A. iberus habitats this one is very close to the sea:

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Young male A. iberus 'Torrent del Pí':

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The next place we visited was the almost completely-dry bed of the Riu Llastres near L'Hospitalet de L'Infant. At first glance there didn't appear to be any permanent water body here although in these shallow puddles swam many juveniles of marine species suggesting a recent inundation event from the Mediterranean:

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However in the centre of the old river mouth we found this little lagoon which appears to be fed by an underground aquifier:

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It's very close to the sea:

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But conditions are perfect for Aphanius with very clear water and abundant filamentous algae:

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We could see quite a few Aphanius in the depths but didn't bring waders so were restricted to using hand nets around the margins. Just a single female was caught but that was good enough to verify the presence of the species here. Sorry about the crappy photo:

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The third and final location was L'Estany de Gelat (the ice lake) a little further along the coast. There's supposed to be a thriving introduced population of A. iberus here but we couldn't observe nor catch a single fish:

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The substrate was filthy, anaerobic and overall this didn't seem like a good Aphanius habitat:

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That's it for now but hoping to give some good news regarding our conservation project soon. /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

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Cake or death?
December 16, 2010
6:12 pm
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Plaamoo
Bellingham, Washington U.S.A.
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Thanks for sharing Matt! Look forward to updates on your project.

December 16, 2010
7:40 pm
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Eyrie
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Always interesting to see the natural habitats.

Mature, sensible signature required for responsible position. Good prospects for the right candidate. Apply within.
December 16, 2010
8:38 pm
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ricefish
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Hi Matt
just out of interest was it conservationists or government that did the re-introduction,is it been monitored and recorded?

December 16, 2010
10:15 pm
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Stefan
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Great pics Matt, and I envy your being in the sunny part of Europe /laugh.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="Laugh" border="0" alt="laugh.gif" />

December 17, 2010
10:50 am
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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QUOTE (ricefish @ Dec 16 2010, 09:21 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi Matt
just out of interest was it conservationists or government that did the re-introduction,is it been monitored and recorded?

I've heard differing stories depending who I speak to Nigel - some say the government is behind the introductions, others say aquarists. I'm guessing it's a combination depending on the locality. If 'official' I doubt any long-term surveys are being done since there's so little money being assigned to fish conservation in this country - one of the reasons I try to get to these smaller localities as much as possible.

Everyone else, thanks! /smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

Cake or death?
December 17, 2010
12:25 pm
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ricefish
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Just highlights the great conservation work you and SEI are doing without any official funding.
keep it up

December 17, 2010
5:00 pm
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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Or unofficial funding! /laugh.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="Laugh" border="0" alt="laugh.gif" /> Seriously though, cheers Nigel. /blush.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":blush:" border="0" alt="blush.gif" />

Cake or death?
December 18, 2010
1:06 pm
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keith565
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QUOTE (ricefish @ Dec 17 2010, 12:08 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just highlights the great conservation work you and SEI are doing without any official funding.
keep it up


I concur mate. /thumbs_up.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":thumbsup:" border="0" alt="thumbs_up.gif" />

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