Project for ex-situ conservation and reintroduction of Zingel balcanikus (Karaman 1937) into the water of Macedonia
Project for ex-situ conservation and reintroduction of Zingel balcanikus (Karaman 1937) into the water of Macedonia
In 2012 activists of the Macedonian Fisheries Federation in cooperation with the Department of animal science. Department for aquaculture and Institute of Biology of Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics conducted extensive research throughout the country, within the Grant Project "Determination of ecological status of Zingel balcanicus in Macedonia "supported by the GEF in the form of project grants. The main objective of the research was to see whether this kind of fish is still present in the waters of the Republic of Macedonia.

In waters of our country this species was first recorded in river Vardar, by Karaman back in 1937. Karaman in his scholarly work, cites this fish as a subspecies of Aspro streber (Siebold, 1863) under the Latin name Aspro streber balcanicus.
The presence of Zingel streber balcanicus in the waters of river Vardar is confirmed by Oliva, (1960), Dimovski i Grupche (1973) and Naumovski (1999). The last author cited River Treska as one of the possible habitats of this fish, but does not specify in which part of the river flow.

An interesting fact is that by Kottelat and Freyohff (2007) this subspecies is elevated to the rank of species, and since then classified as endemic in Republic of Macedonia named Zingel balcanicus (Karaman, 1937). However, these authors did not explain in detail the origin of the collected samples.

It is possible that the samples have been preserved far into the past, given the fact that in the last 30 years this fish is not recorded in any one study by ichthyologists (Georgiev, 2000; Nastova-Gjorgjioska and Kostov, 2000; Kostov, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006; Kostov, 2001). By Bobori i Economidis (2006) Zingel balcanicus (Karaman, 1937) is on the list of fish typical of waters in Greece, while Economou (2007) have sertain doubts about it.

According to the IUCN Red List, Zingel streber (Siebold, 1863) is classified as critically endangered, while the status of Zingel balcanicus is indefinite, because absent population surveys of this kind. Both are on the directive on the protection of habitats 92/43EEC (Anex II). According to Georgiev (2000) Zingel balcanicus, like all species of genus Zingel is extremely sensitive to pollution and changes in environmental conditions and therefore is likely to be in the process of disappearing in our country

During target research conducted last year to find this kind were thoroughly explored all locations where ever registered this species. In these studies the fish was found only in one isolated part along River Treska

This finding bind us as activists of the Macedonian Fishing Federation, and as human beings to undertake specific and concrete measures to protect this endangered species.
R. Macedonia is the only country that faces extinction of freshwater fish. The disappearance of some freshwater fish is a generalized phenomenon, present at global, regional and local level. In recent decades, due to excessive use of water bodies for irrigation, degradation of habitats, construction of hydropower plants, irrigation systems, use of forests and transport, comes to the disappearance of natural spawngrounds of many fish species. Therefore, in many countries, it is emphasized the great importance of performing artificial spawning. The programs are implemented through artificial spawning is known as 'Captive breeding programs', these programs have been initiated to save endangered species and / or populations from extinction (IUCN 1998, 2006; Seddon et al 2007;.Frankham 2008). Their main purpose is to prevent the extinction of species or populations (Utter and Epifanio 2002). In that regard, this proposal stands.
Recent field studies have shown that this species exists in a limited area along the River Treska. It is possible that long-term isolation of thearea of Porechani is one of the reasons that led to the survival of the species.But taking into consideration the increasing industrialization of the region and its community development programs, road construction, the increased frequency of movement of people, we need to assume the risk factors in the near future that can lead to destruction of the only habitat of this species. For these reasons we believe it is inevitable to carry out this project whose main goal is breeding of the species in artificial conditions and breeding offspring in strictly controlled conditions, which would be followed by reintroduction of offspring in its natural habitat, and in some locations along the river Vardar where in the past this species was recorded.

The Macedonian Fisheries Federation of already has experience in conducting projects of this type. One of the successful projects that have been implemented in the past was "Project forconservation, rehabilitation and reintroduction of macedonian trout Salmo macedonicus, Karaman 1924, in the waters of the Republic of Macedonia".
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Project Snapshot

Macedonian Fishing Federation
Area Of Work:
Grant Amount:
US$ 22,091.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 14,960.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 10,000.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Gender Focus
9 women participated in project implementation
Notable Community Participation
Closing Public event was organised with 80 participants (numerous fishing associations, academia, media etc) and results of the project was presented.
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Number of globally significant species protected by project 1
Number of individuals (gender diaggregated) who have benefited* from SGP project 20

SGP Country office contact

Mr. Zlatko Samardziev
Ms Melita Ivanova


Majka Tereza 15/6
Skopje, 1000