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Hydrobiologia

, Volume 757, Issue 1, pp 49–60 | Cite as

Historic decline and recent increase of Burbot (Lota lota) in the Netherlands

  • J. BosveldEmail author
  • J. Kranenbarg
  • H. J. R. Lenders
  • A. J. Hendriks
BURBOT ECOLOGY

Abstract

In the Netherlands, Burbot Lota lota have severely declined due to aquatic system modifications and agricultural intensification. The aim of this study was to evaluate the species’ distribution and population trends and to interpret its decline for conservation and management-planning. Historic and present distributions were examined by GIS analysis, while the decline was quantified using binary logistic regression of presence-absence data. Records suggest that at the beginning of the twentieth century the overall Burbot population was relatively stable but reached a turning point from a positive to a negative population phase around 1950. Today, only two areas with spawning populations remain. Recently, increasing numbers of Burbot have been recorded in one of these areas, viz. the lakes in the confluence area of the rivers Vechte and IJssel. This increase could be attributed to annual stockings in German reaches of the River Vechte since 2001, with stock material originating from the rivers Elbe and Weser. Because of the low numbers in which Burbot populations were present and the risks of introduction of non-local stock, Burbot requires imperative tools and action plans for recovery and conservation in the Netherlands.

Keywords

River Vechte River IJssel Population dynamics Species decline Historical data Fish conservation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Wieke Smit for the hospitality during field visits and for providing us with Burbot data over the past six years. We are grateful to Jens Liebermann of Sportfischereiverein Nordhorn e.V. for information on the reintroduction of Burbot in Germany. Many thanks to Ronald de Ruiter (Naturalis Biodiversity Center, The Netherlands) for his kind assistance during visits to the natural history collection of preserved Burbot specimens; the staff of IMARES and the Royal Dutch Angling Association for providing monitoring and catch data of Burbot, respectively. Finally, we would like to thank Dr. Tom Worthington (Oklahoma State University, US) for his help and valuable feedback; Marc Cooper (Doctoral candidate, Leiden University, The Netherlands) and Jan Kranenbarg Sr. (Kraantekst, The Netherlands) for editing the manuscript for its English language usage.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Bosveld
    • 1
    Email author
  • J. Kranenbarg
    • 2
  • H. J. R. Lenders
    • 3
  • A. J. Hendriks
    • 3
  1. 1.Submers - Ecological Research & AdviceZutphenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.RAVON (Reptile, Amphibian and Fish Conservation the Netherlands)NijmegenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Science, Institute for Water and Wetland Research (IWWR)Radboud University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands

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