Mid July 2013
Despite searches in the recent past the Marathon Minnow (Pelasgus marathonicus), threatened Greek endemic fish had not recently been found in the Kifissos – Athen’s major river.
We will not give specific locality details here since the population we found is very small and was located in an area that runs the length of only a few hundred meters – based on current knowledge. The population we found is in a tributary, not on the river’s main-stem and in fairly clean water conditions (but not at the original “Chelidonous” tributary described by Stephanidis). This may be a really important population since it is the only one we know in a river basin emptying into the Saronic Gulf (the three other populations existing in Attika and southern Beotia are in basins of the Evvoikos Guld). So, this population may be distinct – and biogeographically rather isolated. We will try to do everything we can to research the conservation status of the population and inform local authorities about this “Important Fish Area”. Yes, the Kifissos of Athens is an important area for conservation!
1) This species location re-discovery is important because the status of the species in the river basin was undefined for over 40 years! Profressor P.S.Economidis’ concurs with the knowledge gap that has existed – as he reported on the status of the Marathon Minnow in and article in “I Physis” in vol. 49, back in 1990: “Also, Mr. Stephaniids had told me that he had found the fish in the stream of Chelidonous