Feasibility study (re)introduction of European weather loach

Project: Demand



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The European weather loach (Misgurn fossilis) is a freshwater fish that was included in Annex 2 of the Habitats Directive. Historically, the species occurred all over Flanders. Currently its spread is limited to one population in the 'De Goorken' nature reserve in Arendonk. In recent decades the species has also been spotted sporadically in a number of other marshlands. However, extensive sampling did not demonstrate the presence of a real population at any of these sites.
There is relatively little known about the species' natural reproduction, but there are indications of a potentially complex reproductive strategy, such as with the spined loach (Cobitis taenia). The theoretical framework for such generally complex breeding methods has hardly been developed, which makes it much more difficult to evaluate the genetic status of populations. The reintroduction of this species therefore requires the collection of basic information on reproductive strategy, clonality, variation in ploidy, etc.
A feasibility study will examine the possibility of reintroduction in order to expand the living area of the species in order to meet the objectives of the Habitats Directive.
Effective start/end date1/01/1531/12/20
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