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Goby's fight for a spot

Dawn Gibson
Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A RELATIVELY new species to science — the Vanua Levu dual-spot goby (Redigobius lekutu) is fighting for a spot on the IUCN Redlist of Threatened Species, with specialists believing the fish species could well be critically threatened.

The goby, which is endemic to Fiji, only had a formal description of its distribution and behaviour published in 2010, according to a report by NatureFiji-MareqetiViti (NFMV).

"It measures only 3.5 cm from the snout to the tip of the tail, probably smaller than the index finger of the average adult," a statement reported.

"Freshwater researcher Aaron Jenkins of Wetlands International says this species, if it was to be included in the IUCN Redlist of Threatened Species, would be listed as 'critically endangered'."

The report stipulated that the tiny fish has only been observed in the mid and upper areas of Lekutu and Dreketi river catchments on Vanua Levu and faces threats relating to invasive species and logging.

"The main threat to this endemic fish is habitat destruction brought about by the logging activities being carried out in its only known sites; and the possibility of introduced invasive species.

"The restricted distribution of this species to two sites on Vanua Levu makes this species very vulnerable, and could affect their future survival."

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