Response to De Silva et al. (2007): Endemic freshwater finfish of Asia: distribution and conservation status


Correspondence: William R. T. Darwall, IUCN Species Programme, 219c Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0 DL, UK. E-mail:


De Silva et al. (2007) present an overview of the distribution and conservation status of the endemic freshwater fish of Asia. Within that review they use data from the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ (2006) to conduct an analysis of the conservation status of those endemic fish species. Their analysis is incorrect and provides a very misleading impression of the level of threat to Asian freshwater fish and to freshwater fish at the global scale. The errors stem from a misinterpretation of the data presented on the IUCN Red List. The sources of errors are discussed below and the opportunity is taken to clarify what the information on the IUCN Red List represents.