The Iberian desman Galemys pyrenaicus (E. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1811) in Portugal: status and conservation
The Iberian desman Galemys pyrenaicus (E. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1811) is protected by law and classified as Vulnerable in the Portuguese Red Data Book. Although no national surveys have been conducted since the first survey (1990-1996), the available data indicate that there may be less than 10,000 adults in the Portuguese population, following contractions along the periphery of their range in Portugal. The Iberian desman is threatened mainly because it is bound to a vulnerable habitat restricted in a geographic area in the north of the country, characterized by higher altitudes, permanent water regime and higher water quality. Its main threats in Portugal have been the reduction of water quality, habitat degradation, and the use of impacting fishing methods (nets, poisons and explosives). The species is now faced with new threats including predation by exotic species, increasing habitat fragmentation and loss caused by the construction of hydroelectric infrastructures. The great challenge for the conservation of the Iberian desman in Portugal is the compromise between biodiversity and natural habitat protection and the use of water for hydroelectric power. If the present course of environmental and energy policies are maintained, there is no guaranty that enough water basins will be preserved to prevent the fragmentation of Iberian desman populations and the consequent loss of genetic variability.
Тэги: Conservation, habitat, Galemys pyrenaicus, Portugal, status