The gizani is listed as a priority species on Annex II of the European Union Habitats Directive (1) (3) (4) (10) and is protected by Presidential Decree No 67/1981 of the Greek State (1) (6). It is also listed in the Red Book of Endangered Species of Greece (6). A variety of other ministry and parliamentary legislation also exists for the protection, conservation and management of habitats and freshwater fishes in Greece (11).
A European Union (EU) LIFE project to improve the gizani’s threatened status has helped to ensure the future survival of this species (1) (6). Research was carried out as part of the project to determine the gizani’s geographic range and population trends, the state of this species’ habitat and its habitat preferences, its genetic composition and the threats to its survival (2) (6). As a result, a number of conservation actions were put in place, including the construction of information centres for visitors, an artificial breeding programme and an action plan for the future conservation of this species (2) (3).
Conservation measures for this species include carrying out more research into its life history, managing freshwater resources in a sustainable way to ensure that streams do not dry out, reducing pollution in streams and rivers to maintain water quality, and creating fish refuges along streams. Other actions include protecting forests surrounding the gizani’s habitat from fire, as this would help retain rainwater so that underground water sources are maintained (6).
Translocation of individuals between populations has not been recommended, as it may increase the transmission of disease and parasites (4).
The gizani would benefit from further management programmes which combine freshwater ecosystem conservation and sustainable management of water resources, as well as educational and research programmes to promote sustainable management of the Mediterranean’s precious freshwater resources (2).