Richness and endemism of the freshwater fishes of Mexico

T. Contreras-MacBeath, M.B. Rodríguez, V. Sorani, C. Goldspink, G. McGregor Reid

Abstract


A study of richness and endemism of the freshwater fishes of Mexico, was carried out in order to identify hotspots and inform conservation efforts. This was done by mapping and overlaying individual species distributions by means of geographical information systems based on museum data. The study was able to confirm several previously proposed centres of freshwater fish richness (Southeastern Mexico, the Mesa Central, the Bravo-Conchos river system and the Panuco and Tuxpan-Nautla rivers). Seven areas with high ‘Corrected Weighted Endemism’ Index values were identified, with the valley of Cuatrociénegas recognized as a true centre. An alarming result was the identification of a “Ghost” centre of endemism (Llanos El Salado) in southwestern Nuevo León, where six endemic cyprinodont species are all ‘extinct’ or ‘extinct in the wild’. Forty-nine single site endemics that are distributed all over Mexico were identified. The Chichancanab lagoon in the border between Yucatan and Quintana Roo, where a flock composed of six endemic cyprinodonts is present needs special mention. Three hotspots of richness plus endemism were found in Mexico, the most important of which is the Mesa Central where impacts by human activities have had a detrimental effect on fish populations.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o3633.5421-33

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Copyright (c) 2014 T. Contreras-MacBeath, M.B. Rodríguez, V. Sorani, C. Goldspink, G. McGregor Reid

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The Journal of Threatened Taxa is an open access and print, peer-reviewed, monthly, international journal on conservation and taxonomy. The aim of the Journal is to promote wildlife research and conservation action worldwide at no cost to authors, no subscription or membership cost, and no hidden cost, on a regular basis without compromising on ethics, standards and pre-requisites of scientific publications.


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