Natura and fishes in Greece

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Natura and fishes in Greece

One of the Greek "protected" barbs ( Barbus sp); Here they appear in beautiful golden hues in a mountain stream on the eastern side of the Pindus range. Should we use such photos for propaganda, how many scientists take these photos?

Natura 2000 and fish conservation in Greece

Fish are "invisible" as natural heritage conservation objects. They are also generally less known; Although specialists have studied many of them in depth (more, for example, amphibians, bats and most invertebrates).

Fish tend to imitate people. Few people know their specific names. A few experts try to standardize national names (as in the case of birds). And taxonomy is tricky. Even though we know a lot, it is very difficult today. Check out their ever-changing scientific names.

Especially after 2007, we have scientific names that have undergone a major name change due to the wide acceptance of the concept of a new species. The concept of subspecies is "disappeared" and all small variable populations with different characteristics (shape and genes) are now called "new species". Some versions are sealed, others are left for "future work".

English names are embarrassing, even among fish. European fish names are also poorly standardized, often assigned to "local" and disciplinary names; They are sometimes funny for Greek fish (see: Baffa: Tropidophoxynellus, Scaruni: Luciobarbus grecus, Marida: Pelasgus...). Modern Greek names are also very ugly; The Greek, however, gave species more descriptive scientific names than others. This clearly shows that modern society does not care.

So how do we get society to protect our rare and "protected" fish? Because society doesn't see any use for "nature" if it doesn't want it.

This is why I believe that scientists who do "fish research" in this country have a double duty.

a) Understand conservation science. For example, set priorities to keep your work relevant. Confirm the names as soon as possible; It helps stop manic episodes.

b) Talking to the public. You devote 20% of your professional commitment as a scientist to what I call "natural activism." Natural interpretation, promotion, systematic propaganda. Guiding the public, raising awareness, creating fish and habitat protectors. Explain what classification is; How it works and the importance of respecting differences, spatial differences and uncertainties in this timeless name game. Explain it to the public and policy makers.

Well, to conclude on this irrelevant note, I present excerpts from Natura Surveillance's work "Fish of Interest for the European Community: The Conservation Situation in Greece" (a major project funded by the Greek Ministry of Environment and to all who read this in the EU). countries) four institutions work there and are supported by many scientists (HCMR, Aristotle Univ. Of Thessaloniki, INALE and Ioannina University) We evaluate the status of 72 fish species (mainly local water taxa), we do this in collaboration.

Thank you to all our employees, you know who you are.

A few photos from the field to highlight this a bit.

Most of our work is done on the computer. Google Earth really helps. But who knows where these springs are (if they still have water...) near Karla Lake?
Prague-based ichthyologist Jasna and ichthyologist Karla Maria plan the research in Tesli. Where does Cobitis Stephanidisi live? The residence is "dead". (NB: yes, unfortunately).

Sperchios Schneider ( Alburnoides sp.Sperchios); A god-father-seeking species... He recognizes a unique "basal" position among the European Schneiders (aka Sprylins), but is not named.

Take only 20% of the water and the stream dries up, the bubbles disappear. Image of the Upper Sperkios River on Mount Timphristos.
Chin is a protected species of Community Interest and one of the 72 taxa listed in the EU Habitats Directive. These samples come from a source near the city of Ser in eastern Macedonia. The appearance is very similar to the "golden" type above, but it is a different type.
A species of common and widespread community interest in northern Greece: bitter. Photographed in breeding colors in Tress, Dadea National Park (Dadea Diavolorema) in April. Such protected species can add value to very small lowland streams that are threatened by excessive drainage.

Nektarios and Elena are looking for fish... The first question is whether this is a naturally dammed or artificially dammed river. In areas that have been artificially degraded by human exploitation, we have problems with water management and conservation. (Photo of a tributary at the base of the Otreus in the Sperchios Basin).
Another "golden" fish, found in the southern Balkans, is not included in the list of community species. Drum Squalius orpheus . Photographed here in a small stream north of Komotini in the Eastern Rhodopes (note the alder leaves). Although the species is a true "survivor", it needs water.
In Zakynthos National Marine Park. A rare brand in Greece. We must do more.

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