Barrydale redfin


Scientific name

Pseudobarbus burchelli

Red List status: Critically Endangered

General info

The Pseudobarbus burchelli is closely related to the Breede River redfin. Not much is known about this species as yet, but it’s believed spawning takes place between October and December.

Where you’ll find them

The Barrydale redfin is restricted to the Tradouw River and its Huis River tributary in the Breede River system. That means this species has a very limited natural distribution range – and you won’t find many Barrydale redfin in areas of this river where predatory non-native fish species occur.


This habitat differs for the various populations that occur here: From pools with bedrock, boulders and cobbles, to sandy substratum.


This species faces numerous, imminent threats, including invasive non-native fish, habitat loss and water abstraction. In the Tradouw River, pools have been heavily invaded by Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides), Banded Tilapia (Tilapia sparrmanii) and Bluegill Sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus). Other threats include poor management in riparian zones, with bulldozing taking place in some areas along the river, and with bank erosion also impacting. Water extraction for the town of Barrydale has left much of the Huis River completely dry, bar a few isolated pools. Lower down the Tradouw River, the river quality is under serious threat from sewage effluent discharge, and pollution from the agricultural sector.

Conservation action

Some local initiatives are hard at work to protect the remaining Barrydale redfin, including a project driven by the Grootvadersbosch Conservancy. The Grootvadersbosch Aquatic Species Protection Project (GASPP) is monitoring and collecting data on the river system – including the fish species. The project is actively addressing habitat degradation, bank alteration, environmental flows and is removing invasive fish.

Sources: SANBI Red List of South African Species; Swimming on the Edge of Extinction (Garrow & Marr); Grootvadersbosch Conservancy

Help us protect these ancient species…

many of which are swimming on the edge of extinction.