Potamophylax kosovaensis, a new insect species from Kosovo that is already endangered
Potamophylax kosovaensis. Credit: Ibrahimi et al.

Over the last few years, Professor Halil Ibrahimi from Kosovo and his team have described several new species of aquatic insects recognized as bioindicators of freshwater ecosystems. The work is published in the Biodiversity Data Journal.

However, the celebration of these discoveries is tempered by alarming concerns: the newfound species are often already considered endangered, as per the criteria set forth by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as soon as they are described. This classification underscores the urgent need for to safeguard their existence.

The research team has just discovered a new species, named Potamophylax kosovaensis, in the spring area of the Llap River, nestled within the Ibër River Basin. The region, known for its ecological significance, serves as a for numerous aquatic organisms like newly discovered .

Unfortunately, these freshwater insects are facing unprecedented threats in Kosovo and the broader Balkans region. Anthropogenic pressures, such as , littering, and the construction of hydropower plants, pose imminent risks to their survival. The degradation of their habitats not only jeopardizes their existence but also undermines the health and integrity of entire freshwater ecosystems.

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Potamophylax kosovaensis, a new insect species from Kosovo that is already endangered
Spring area of the Llap river, from where the new species, Potamophylax kosovaensis was found. Credit: Ibrahimi et al.

Professor Ibrahimi emphasizes the importance of urgent action to mitigate these threats and conserve this delicate balance of freshwater biodiversity. “The discovery of Potamophylax kosovaensis serves as a stark reminder of the fragility of our freshwater ,” he states. “We must prioritize efforts to protect these habitats and the invaluable species they harbor.”

More information:
Halil Ibrahimi et al, Potamophylax kosovaensis sp. nov. (Trichoptera, Limnephilidae), a new species of the Potamophylax winneguthi species cluster from the Ibër River Basin in Kosovo, Biodiversity Data Journal (2024). DOI: 10.3897/BDJ.12.e121454

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Potamophylax kosovaensis, an insect species newly discovered in Kosovo, is already endangered (2024, April 15)
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