Using genetic differentiation to determine conservation priority areas for three native fishes in the Groot Marico catchment, North West Province
Van der Walt, Kerry-Ann
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The Groot Marico catchment in the North West Province has been identified as a National freshwater Ecosystem Priority Area (NFEPA) and represents unique landscape features with unique biodiversity and has been identified as biodiversity special features of special ecological significance. However, there is little information with regards to the distribution of the species inhabiting the catchment.Three native freshwater species which have high local conservation importance, namely Amphilius uranoscopus, Chiloglanis pretoriae and Barbus motebensis have been selected for this study. Barbus motebensis is endemic to the catchment and is IUCN-listed as vulnerable (VUL). All three species within the catchment are thought to be impacted by natural discontinuities which can impact an organism’s preferred habitat and result in population fragmentation. Furthermore, these three species may be impacted by non-native largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides which through predation pressure may further fragment tributary populations of these species.