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Article

First Captive Breeding Program for the Endangered Pyrenean Sculpin (Cottus hispaniolensis Bacescu-Master, 1964)

1
Associació de Defensa i Estudi de la Fauna i Flora Autòctona (ADEFFA), Camadoca, Santa Maria de Merlès, 08517 Catalonia, Spain
2
Aquatic Ecology Group, University of Vic—Central University of Catalonia, Vic, 08500 Catalonia, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(11), 2986; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12112986
Received: 28 September 2020 / Revised: 21 October 2020 / Accepted: 22 October 2020 / Published: 24 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Conservation of Freshwater Fishes Biodiversity)
The strong decline of freshwater fish species in Europe implies that further ex-situ conservation plans should be implemented in the near future. The present study reflects our experience with the Pyrenean sculpin (Cottus hispaniolensis Bacescu-Mester, 1964)—a small cottid endemic to the Hispano-French Garona River basin. In recent years, the Spanish Pyrenean sculpin population has reached a limit situation. Because of that, the non-profit association ADEFFA—with support from the public administration—started the first captive breeding program for this species in 2006. Fourteen years later, this study presents the results and evaluates the different steps of the program, with the aim of discussing and improving the ex-situ conservation plans for this and other cold freshwater species. There is a description and a comparison between six consecutive phases during the captive breeding process: nesting behaviour, courtship, egg fixation, parental care (incubation), hatching and survival during juvenile development. The purposes of this project are to: (1) identify the most determining phases for a successful captive breeding; (2) identify the factors that had a major influence to the success of the critical phases; and (3) increase the number of the offspring. This study is based on thirty-three wild individuals collected from Garona River (Val d’Aran, Spanish Pyrenees). During the program, twelve couples spawned in captive conditions, with around 2300 eggs laid. Eight couples bred successfully, with 751 hatched individuals and 608 juveniles reared. The analysis of each step of the captive breeding does not reveal significant differences between phases, so it can be concluded that they are all critical at the same level. In the literature, similar study-cases of captive breeding programs identify incubation and survival phases as the most critical. Consequently, the management made for this project has probably allowed to overcome in part the main impediments described in other similar programs. View Full-Text
Keywords: threatened species; conservation planning; climate change; captive breeding; Cottus hispaniolensis threatened species; conservation planning; climate change; captive breeding; Cottus hispaniolensis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Manubens, J.; Comas, O.; Valls, N.; Benejam, L. First Captive Breeding Program for the Endangered Pyrenean Sculpin (Cottus hispaniolensis Bacescu-Master, 1964). Water 2020, 12, 2986. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12112986

AMA Style

Manubens J, Comas O, Valls N, Benejam L. First Captive Breeding Program for the Endangered Pyrenean Sculpin (Cottus hispaniolensis Bacescu-Master, 1964). Water. 2020; 12(11):2986. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12112986

Chicago/Turabian Style

Manubens, Joan, Oriol Comas, Núria Valls, and Lluís Benejam. 2020. "First Captive Breeding Program for the Endangered Pyrenean Sculpin (Cottus hispaniolensis Bacescu-Master, 1964)" Water 12, no. 11: 2986. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12112986

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