Environmental Protection

Study Predicts Trout Extinction in Spain in Less than 100 Years

Trout in the area already face numerous threats, whether it is climate change, pollution, water extraction for irrigation, or overfishing.

A new Spanish study predicts the habitat of trout in Iberian rivers will have reduced by half by 2040, making for a great threat toward the very survival of the species. By 2100, the population will be extinct, it forecasts.

Trout in the area already face numerous threats, including climate change, pollution, water extraction for irrigation, and overfishing. Global warming has threatened many fish as temperature and coloration changes in the water bring with them the risk of harm.

Published in the Global Change Biology journal, the study analyzed the temperature changes of Navarra between 1975 and 2007. The scientists involved began to see patterns for the region's rivers as temperatures increased. "This fish has very narrow physiological margins in which it can live and is therefore a good indicator of the highest stretches of our rivers," said Ana Almodóvar, researcher and lead author of the study.

According to the study, the Iberian Peninsula is not the only area prone to the loss of trout. Other areas of the Mediterranean, including the Italian, Balkan, and Anatolian peninsulas, also are at risk due to the varying temperature changes and lack of fresh, clear water.

Almodóvar also pointed out the vast regional differences in trout population. "It has always been thought that due to climate change, trout populations in Southern European countries would be more affected than those in the North. But a specific study was needed to confirm this notion."

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