Conservation status

The 2002 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species includes five gobioid species ranked as Critically Endangered and 26 ranked as Vulnerable. Another 21 species are ranked under Lower Risk/Conservation Dependent or Lower Risk/Near Threatened, and 27 are listed as Data Deficient (i.e., there is inadequate information to make a direct, or indirect, assessment of the risk of extinction).

The critically endangered species are threatened by the degradation of their habitat and the introduction of invasive species. For example, Chlamydogobius micropterus is from small springs, bores, and drains in Queensland, Australia, that are threatened by water extraction. The Edgbaston goby (Chlamy-dogobius squamigenus) is from similar Queensland habitats that are being degraded by trampling from humans and domestic livestock. The introduction of the mosquitofish (Gambusia hol-brooki) presents another threat to C. squamigenus. The poso bungu (Weberogobious amadi), which is restricted to Lake Poso in Sulawesi, was probably last observed in 1985 and might be extinct. It has been threatened by pollution, the introduction of alien fish species to the lake and by diseases carried by those introduced species. The sinarapan (Mistichthys luzonensis) from the Philippines was previously thought to be possibly extinct because of the introduction of tilapia to Philippine fresh waters. However, it is still found in lakes of Luzon and is ranked as Lower Risk/Conservation Dependent by the IUCN.

The 26 species listed as Vulnerable include several that have restricted ranges. For example, four of the eight eleotrid species listed as Vulnerable are species of Mogurnda that are restricted to a single lake (Lake Kutubu) in Papua New

Guinea. The gobiid Economidichthys trichonis, which is endemic to Lake Trichonis in Greece, is threatened by agricultural activities that may cause eutrophication of the lake. Knipowitschia punctatissima from Italy is threatened by industrial and agricultural activity, and Knipowitschia thessala from Greece is threatened because some of its native watercourses are now dry.

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