Western Ruivaco (Achondrostoma occidentale)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 172515985
Habitat restoration and population monitoring of an endangered freshwater fish endemic to the westernmost tip of Europe.
1.MONITORING Fish sampling at 6 sites/river after the dry season, during three consecutive years. In each sampling point we will characterize habitat conditions and correlate them with fish population parameters (fish density, sex ratio, age structure).
2.TAKE ACTION Create 3-5 protected areas in each river basin. Refugial pools where fish are usually congregated in the summer will be selected. We will increase instream shadowing by planting native flora in river banks, deepen pools and eventually install small surmountable transversal barriers to create riffles and, with that, improve natural oxygenation. These protected areas will be created in articulation with the local city councils and signalized with disclosure panels with the description of the project.
3.LINK TO SOCIETY Develop an educational program in local primary and secondary schools, including talks, pedagogic materials and ludic activities. Students will be invited to participate in monitoring and restocking actions; to visit the captive breeding facility at the Vasco da Gama Aquarium; and to participate in “clean-up the river” days (removal of plastic debris). Public awareness will also be raised by disseminating project details in social media.