The Kunming snow trout has an extremely restricted distribution, and the population is thought to be declining. Introduced fish species, water pollution and over-fishing have all been identified as major threats to the Kunming snow trout. Habitat loss, siltation and changes in the access to breeding sites are also important factors in its decline (1).
It is likely that the Kunming snow trout is also threatened by climate change. Species with small or fragmented distributions and narrow environmental tolerances are thought to be particularly vulnerable to climatic changes, which include rising temperatures, changes in rainfall patterns and drought. Such range-restricted species are unlikely to be able to disperse to more suitable habitats, and may not be able to adapt quickly enough to cope with the rapidly changing climate (6) (7).