Using genetics to prioritise headwater stream fish populations of the Marico barb, Enteromius motebensis Steindachner 1894, for conservation action.

11 October 2017

South Africa has a relatively large number of threatened freshwater fish species and limited resources to implement conservation programs. Enteromius motebensis was regionally prioritised for action because of its conservation status and flagship status in a nationally important aquatic ecosystem. Genetic diversity of E. motebensis in headwater refugia of the Groot Marico River Catchment was assessed to determine if genetic diversity is important for conservation planning for this species. The results of the genetic analysis indicate that some prioritisation was possible, with two populations showing evidence of recent isolation. Conservation implications: We recommend that at least three populations be prioritised for conservation action to ensure maintenance of most of the remaining genetic diversity of the species.