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Iranocypris Typhlops: Vulnerable and Endangered Species

Posted on Dec, 12, 2013
Contributed to WCHV by Sahand Adib


Iran-cave-barbThe Iranian Cave-fish Iranocypris typhlops is one of the rare and endemic Iranian species of our time. Iranocypris typhlops, the Iran cave barb, is a species of ray-finned fish in the Cyprinidae family, and the only member of the monotypic genus Iranocypris. It is endangered species which inhabits a cave in Lorestan province in Iran and is considered to be the first true cave fish in the world (freshwater, cave dwelling species). It was registered as one of the national heritage species in Iran in 2005, and it has been recognized as a vulnerable species for its threatened habitat according to the IUCN Red Data Book since 1990.

Many factors have contributed to the present situation and currently threatening the existence of this unique species. These factors include: Human intrusion of their living cave, lack of funding for researchers for further research and improvement of the conditions, accumulated agricultural waste in the water and as a result in the cave, inadequate environmental monitoring, lack of additional fish-farms outside the fish’s natural living zone (for additional breeding) and small populations of fish.

Lastly, the construction of a new dam within 500 meters of these caves makes environmentalists and researchers even more concerned than ever before. The authorities have recently made a number of promises for new measures but none has been fulfilled yet.

For more information for Iranocypris typhlops being on the Vulnerable Red List visit http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/10849/0

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