ESR 16:183-198 (2012)  -  doi:10.3354/esr00405

REVIEW
Lampreys of the Iberian Peninsula: distribution, population status and conservation

Catarina S. Mateus1,2,3,*, Rolando Rodríguez-Muñoz4,5, Bernardo R. Quintella1,6, M. Judite Alves3, Pedro R. Almeida1,2 

1Centro de Oceanografia, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisbon, Portugal
2Departamento de Biologia, Escola de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade de Évora, Largo dos Colegiais, 7000 Évora, Portugal
3Museu Nacional de História Naturale da Ciência & Centro de Biologia Ambiental, Universidade de Lisboa, 1250-102 Lisbon, Portugal
4Centre for Ecology & Conservation, School of Biosciences, University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus, Penryn, TR10 9EZ, UK
5Área de Zoología, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Oviedo, Calle Catedrático Rodrígo Uría s/n, 33006 Oviedo, Spain
6Departamento de Biologia Animal, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisbon, Portugal

ABSTRACT: The 3 lamprey species, sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus L., European river lamprey Lampetra fluviatilis L. and European brook lamprey L. planeri Bloch, that inhabit the Iberian Peninsula are of conservation concern. They are considered either Vulnerable, Critically Endangered, and even Extinct in different regions of this area mainly due to habitat loss and population fragmentation. Although several other factors contribute to the decline of lamprey populations in Iberian rivers, obstacles to migration (dams and weirs) are probably the most widespread and significant, causing an estimated 80% loss of accessible habitat in most river basins. We analysed historical records from all main Iberian rivers before the construction of impassable dams became widespread, and found that lampreys were consistently present in the upper reaches. The unblocking of the lower stretches of major river basins and the restoration of former spawning sites and larval habitats should be considered as priority measures for the conservation of these species. Identification of Special Areas of Conservation to be included in the Natura 2000 European network can also be very relevant for lamprey conservation.


KEY WORDS: Petromyzon marinus · Lampetra fluviatilis · Lampetra planeri · Historical distribution · Habitat loss · Conservation options


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Cite this article as: Mateus CS, Rodríguez-Muñoz R, Quintella BR, Alves MJ, Almeida PR (2012) Lampreys of the Iberian Peninsula: distribution, population status and conservation. Endang Species Res 16:183-198

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