The loss of this species from the majority of its former range has been attributed to altered river systems caused by the construction of upstream dams. These developments restrict the supply of fresh water that brings with it essential nutrients required by the phytoplankton upon which the food chain depends (4). Much excitement greeted the discovery of an additional population of this pipefish in the East Kleinemonde Estuary, but these fish are under increasing threat, and not least because they are the last remaining members of the species (3). Developments along the river have led to silting problems; the creation of artificial beaches and the removal of reed beds have further threatened the delicate estuary ecosystem (3).
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