Vistonis schemaya

© Jörg Freyhof

The Vistonis schemaya is a lacustrine cyprinid that migrates to the upper reaches of tributaries to spawn (Kottelat & Freyhof 2007). Schemayas were previously recognized as a distinct genus Chalcalburnus, but are now grouped together with Alburnus (Kottelat & Freyhof 2007). The species is listed as endemic to Lake Vistonida, but is perhaps found in the Filiouris drainage (Freyhof & Kottelat 2008a). Most spawning habitat has been lost due to the construction of irrigation dams (Freyhof & Kottelat 2007, 2008a).

There are six medium-sized (1-10 MW) hydropower plants in planning in the upper Kosynthos River and several small plants (< 1 MW) planned in the Kompsatos River, the two major tributaries of the lake. Disruption of bed-load transport or the flushing of fine sediments can easily destroy spawning grounds downstream.

  • IUCN-Redlist Critically Endangered
  • Bern Convention III
  • Hydropower Sensitivity Very High
  • Balkan Dam Threat * Moderate to High

* The assessment of Balkan Dam Threat is based on the loss of habitat that would occur if all or most of the planned hydropower schemes in the distribution range of the species were to be built. For more precise specification see Fish Study, page 8.

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