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"A better understanding of our rivers is essential if we are to progress as a society towards a more sustainable future".

Imanol Miqueleiz from Navarre has investigated the level of knowledge existing on the conservation status of fish.

Dr. Imanol Miqueleiz continues his research in ichthyology.

08 | 03 | 2021

Knowing biodiversity in order to conserve it. Imanol Miqueleiz, a 28-year-old biologist from Navarre, has researched the knowledge on the conservation status of fish and how we can improve their protection in the coming years. "The concept of sustainabledevelopment is closely linked to a better care of the rivers, of understanding which species inhabit them, how they relate, the threats that affect them and what measures we can adopt to achieve a more sustainable future."

Miqueleiz has analyzed the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, an inventory that reflects the risk of extinction of every species in the world from agreement to population, distribution and threat criteria. "Recently described fish species appear on the list with a higher risk of threat than those described long ago, which has strong implications for their conservation."

One of the important conclusions of this research has been that the use of molecular tools -such as environmental DNA (eDNA)- can help in the re-evaluation process of many fish species in the Iberian Peninsula. "The use of eDNA can facilitate the monitoring of fish populations in the Iberian Peninsula and establish their area distribution in a more accurate way in order to more efficiently assess their conservationstatus."

Miqueleiz insists on the need to increase the efforts of assessment of fish and update the information of the existing species since there is a large issue of countries -as is the case of Spain- that has some assessments made more than a decade ago. "Fish act as indicators of the state of the rivers, offering us the opportunity to obtain very valuable information, such as water quality. In addition, fish provide us with ecosystem services, both in terms of food and leisure, sport fishing or the simple enjoyment of nature".

Imanol Miqueleiz is graduate in Biology and holds a PhD from the School of Sciences of the University of Navarra, and Master's Degree in Biodiversity and Conservation from the University of Leeds (England).

reference letter bibliography
Miqueleiz, I; Bohm, M; Ariño, AH; Miranda, R; (2020) Assessment gaps and biases in knowledge of conservation status of fishes. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems , 30 (2) pp. 225-236. DOI: 10.1002/aqc.3282.