Monday, August 5, 2013

Schinias-Marathon National Park: Ichthyo-tragedy (Part Two of Two)


Early August 2013

On the 18th of July, Radek Sanda and I visited the sluices at the Olympic Rowing Center Lake within Schinias (a national park 30 km east of Athens). I described the situation in "part one" of this report. Here I give some photos of the fishes and the sluice-problem that entraps them. These are probably the first published photos of the Marathon Minnow from...Marathon. It was thought to be extirpated from this site, as stated in IUCN Red List (see http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/135721/0)*. This is of course due to very low interest and understanding of small-fish distributions - normal. 

Anyway, here I show some of the conditions in Sluice 1 and Sluice 2. HCMR researchers and HOS members will again visit the sluices to "monitor" the situation this summer. Hope there is no mass death! 

* IUCN Red List states: "The species is now only known from springs and rivers in the Sperchios and Kifissos drainages, it is extirpated from the Marathon plain which was drained for agriculture. The extent of occurrence of the remaining distribution is less than 10,000 km², where there is a continuing decline in water quality in the rivers (but not the springs) from agricultural pollution, the species is also threatened by drought and water abstraction, and in some springs there is stocking of Oncorhynchus mykiss which will eat P. marathonicus"Freyhof, J. & Kottelat, M. 2008. Pelasgus marathonicus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 06 August 2013. 

Marathon Minnows (Pelasgus marathonicus) known as Attikopsaro in Greek; small individuals from the Rowing Center Lake at Marathon.
Sluice 1. Infamous for mass deaths of fishes a few years back. On the L is the artificial Rowing Center Lake, on the R is the culvert leading underground to the Great Marsh of Schinias.
Radek sampling and collecting water samples too at Sluice 1. The sluice canal is about 2 meters deep, maybe more. 
Sluice canal at Sluice 1. Many fishes, including Eels are usually visible. Amphibians and snakes often get trapped here too. 
Snap-shot of Marathon Minnows from above, in Sluice 1. Conditions are still OK. If drought continues and conductivities increase they will all die.
Sluice 1. Foaming waters, fish and amphibians also get trapped here. This situation need a therapy!







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