Conservation status

One species of angelfish (Centropyge resplendens [Po-macanthidae]), and five species of butterflyfish (Chaetodon flavocoronatus, C. litus, C. marleyi, C. obliquus, and C. robustus [Chaetodontidae]) are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Other species may be vulnerable or threatened, but the data simply do not exist to verify the conservation status of many of these fishes. Certainly, species that live in close association with corals (such as butterflyfishes, angelfishes, and hawkfishes) might be at risk because of the effects of coral bleaching, the harvest of corals, and the general destruction of coral habitats. The same might be said of species that live in mangroves (such as archerfishes) threatened with destruction. The leaffishes may be at risk from the effects of pollution, hydroelectric development, so-called stream improvements, the draining of swamps, destructive agricultural practices, mining, logging, and other forms of development that contribute to the

A pair of red goatfish (Mullus surmuletus). (Photo by Tom McHugh/ Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

sedimentation of rivers and streams. Galjoens require considerable protection from overfishing in South Africa. Similarly, armorheads that dwell on seamounts or on deep-slope reefs and grounds are likely candidates for overfishing and should be of considerable concern. Overfishing of popular aquarium species (such as leaffishes, butterflyfishes, angelfishes, and hawkfishes), especially those that are rare, have limited distri butions locally or geographically, or have mating systems or other life history characteristics that make them especially vulnerable to unregulated harvests, is also of great concern.

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