Freshwater biodiversity

A wide variety of organisms inhabit Lebanon’s freshwater ecosystems, including invertebrates, molluscs, fish and others. The faunal species in freshwater represent 16% of the total fauna biodiversity of the country and the floral species represent just 6% of the flora species. Five percent of the country's freshwater fauna are threatened and 1.3% endemic (MoA, 1996). The only endemic freshwater fish to Lebanon, Levantine Minnow, was considered extinct in the country (MoA, 1996) but later it has been observed at least in Yammouneh Lake, Litani River and Qaraoun Lake (El Zein, 2001). Many have been exterminated from particular river systems due to overfishing. There are extensive pressures on Lebanon’s inland aquatic ecosystems: water pumping, rivers channelling and pollution of various origin. Their impact on the ichtyo fauna (Carp Family, Pupfish Family and True Loaches) is high mortality during the drought season and abandon of preferred spawning areas (El Zein, 2002).