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The habitat and management requirements of Spined loach (Cobitis taenia) (ENRR244)

The spined loach Cobitis taenia is a small bottom dwelling fish, which is confined to the rivers and drainage channels in the Midlands and eastern England. It is generally considered to be widely distributed within these areas, but detailed information is lacking. The spined loach is considered to be threatened within Europe. One site in the UK, the Ouse Washes, has been proposed for designation as a special area of conservation (SAC). This project had five broad aims:

  • to review and consolidate all existing information on the distribution of the spined loach in England;
  • to identify habitat requirements; to identify and where possible quantify the key factors and issues which will need to be addressed if favourable conservation is to be achieved;
  • to produce management guidelines which will raise awareness of conservation issues and facilitate sympathetic management of sites where spined loach occurs;
  • to identify those aspects of ecology and distribution where further research or review is needed

A printed copy of this old English Nature report is available from our Enquiry Service. Tel: 0845 600 3078 Email:

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ENRR244, PDF, 16.0 MB 2014/05/29