Conservation, Threats and Population Status of the Rare and Endemic Limbochromis robertsi in the Pra River Basin, Ghana

11 Sep 2020 Pra River Basin, Ghana, Africa

Moro Seidu

This project aims to provide critical baseline information on the ecology, distribution, population and conservation status of L. robertsi, as an initial step towards the development of practical conservation strategies for the sustainable management of the species and other sympatric freshwater fish. An overarching goal is the use of diverse community outreach programs to raise awareness on the plight of the species and Pra River Basin

Limbochromis robertsi is only known from the Pra River Basin in Ghana. The species has been classified as Endangered owing to its limited geographical distribution, of less than 500 km2 (IUCN, 2010). The species is silently going extinct resulting from high preponderance human-led disturbance impacts including small scale mining regimes, commercial timber harvesting, domestic sewage discharge, poor farming and fishing practices occurring in the Pra Basin (Entsua-Mensah & Lalèyè, 2010). Of all these threats, illegal alluvial gold mining is the key driver of rapid population reduction of these species.

However, since its assessment in 2006, there has not been any detailed ecological study focused on the conservation needs of the species despite its high risk of extinction. The lack of key ecological data on the species coupled with the unprecedented spate of their habitat destruction calls for an urgent conservation action. The proposed project seeks to provide the first comprehensive ecological data on L. robertsi. This study will further assess and develop distribution map of various anthropogenic threats occurring along the waterways to inform areas where wetlands degradation is predominant for immediate conservation attention. We will further collect ethnozoological information including historical population trend, harvesting methods, socio-economics and consumption level of the species. This information will be used as the basis for producing a Species Conservation Strategy. Further, the project will intensify community education and awareness creation campaign on the plight of L. robertsi and other sympatric freshwater species in fringe communities.

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