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South African Journal of Science

On-line version ISSN 1996-7489
Print version ISSN 0038-2353

S. Afr. j. sci. vol.103 n.5-6 Pretoria May./Jun. 2007




Recovery of the critically endangered river pipefish, Syngnathus watermeyeri, in the Kariega Estuary, Eastern Cape province



P.D. VorwerkI; P.W. FronemanII; A.W. PatersonI

ISouth African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON) Elwandle Node, Somerset Street, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
IIZoology and Entomology Department, Rhodes University, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa




An intensive ichthyofaunal survey in the permanently open Kariega Estuary along the Eastern Cape coast has identified a breeding population of the critically endangered river pipefish, Syngnathus watermeyeri, within the middle and upper reaches of the system. This is the first recorded capture of this species in the estuary for over four decades. We suggest that the presence of S. watermeyeri is the result of the heavy rainfall within the region, which contributed to the establishment of optimum habitat requirements (mesohaline conditions and increased food availability) of the pipefish.



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