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IUCN Red List Status

These summary statistics and analyses are based on the European freshwater fishes dataset published in November 2011.

The status of freshwater fishes was assessed at two regional levels: geographical Europe and the EU 27. At the European level, at least 37% of the species are considered as threatened, 12% of them being Critically Endangered, 10% Endangered and 15% Vulnerable. A further 4% of species are classified as Near Threatened.

Within the EU 27, 39% of freshwater fishes are threatened, of which 12% are Critically Endangered, 11% Endangered and 15% Vulnerable. In addition, 4% of species are considered as Near Threatened.

Summary of number of freshwater fish species within each category of threat
IUCN Red List categories No. species Europe (no. endemic species) No. species EU 27 (no. endemic species)
Extinct (EX) 13 (13) 10 (10)
Extinct in the Wild (EW) 1 (1) 0
THREATENED
CATEGORIES
Critically Endangered (CR) 63 (53) 48 (39)
Endangered (EN) 52 (49) 43 (37)
Vulnerable (VU) 79 (75) 59 (55)
  Near Threatened (NT) 22 (20) 16 (16)
Least Concern (LC) 266 (188) 185 (88)
Data Deficient (DD) 28 (26) 21 (18)
Total 524 (425) 382 (263)

 

Red List status of freshwater fishes in Europe

Red List status of freshwater fishes in Europe
Red List status of freshwater fishes in Europe
Click to enlarge
Red List status of freshwater fishes in EU27
Red List status of freshwater fishes in EU 27
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Status by taxonomic group

Europe's freshwater fish species belong to a number of different families, which are varying both in species numbers and in the relative threat status of their species. The most threatened group are the sturgeons. All but one European sturgeon species depend on artificial reproduction and stocking for their survival. Another highly threatened group of species are the Mediterranean killifishes of the Cyprinidontidae family, victims of intensive development of Mediterranean coasts and threatened by invasive alien species; and the European Eel (now classified as Critically Endangered) which is the sole European representative of the Anguillidae.

IUCN Red List status (at the European level) of freshwater fishes by taxonomic family
Family Total* EX EW CR EN VU NT LC DD %
Threatened*
ACIPENSERIDAE 8 0 0 7 0 1 0 0   100%
ANGUILLIDAE 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0   100%
ATHERINIDAE 1 0 0 0 1 2 0 1   0%
BALITORIDAE 8 0 0 1 0 1 0 6   25%
BLENNIIDAE 2 0 0 1 0 0 1 1   50%
CLUPEIDAE 18 0 0 3 1 3 0 10 1 39%
COBITIDAE 35 0 0 5 5 6 3 16   46%
COTTIDAE 16 0 0 1 0 2 0 10 3 19%
CYPRINIDAE 236 3 0 23 35 38 14 119 4 41%
CYPRINODONTIDAE 6 0 0 3 2 0 0 1   83%
ESOCIDAE 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1   0%
GASTEROSTEIDAE 8 1 0 1 0 0 0 6   13%
GOBIIDAE 43 0 0 4 2 3 1 30 3 21%
LOTIDAE 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1   0%
MORONIDAE 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0%
MUGILIDAE 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 5   0%
OSMERIDAE 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0%
PERCIDAE 15 0 0 3 0 0 1 10 1 20%
PETROMYZONTIDAE 13 1 0 1 0 0 1 10 0 8%
PLEURONECTIDAE 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0%
SALMONIDAE 98 8 1 9 7 24 2 32 15 41%
SILURIDAE 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0%
SYNGNATHIDAE 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0%
UMBRIDAE 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 100%
Total 525 13 1 63 52 79 22 267 28 37%

*Does not include species classed as Not Applicable (NA)