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The Palearctic region of northern Europe and Asia contains only 14 families of primary freshwater fishes with many minnows and loaches but only about 10 species of catfishes from four families. Non-ostariophysans include perches (Percidae), pickerels (Esocidae), and a mudminnow (Umbridae, Umbra krameri). Europe itself was historically thought to be relatively depauperate in freshwater fishes, but recent reanalysis suggests Europe has a rich fauna of 546 native species, with considerable endemism in the southern regions (Kottelat & Freyhof 2007). Lévêque et al. (2008) modified the ichthyological regions defined by Reyjol et al. (2007) based on species lists for 233 species from 406 basins to define seven European provinces (Fig. 16.10):
1 Ponto-Caspian Province with 98 species (36.7% endemic).
2 Northern Europe Province with 42 species (9.5% endemic).
3 Western Europe Province with 47 species (6.4% endemic).
4 Central Europe Province with 57 species (1.8% endemic).
5 Central Peri-Mediterranean Province with 93 species (64.5% endemic).
6 Eastern Peri-Mediterranean Province with 64 species (31.2% endemic).
7 Iberian Peninsula Province with 50 species (60% endemic).
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