The Portuguese Red Book lists the Portuguese arched-mouth nase as Critically Endangered (6). This species is covered by national and international conservation legislation (6), including the Bern Convention (12) and EU Habitats Directive (13). However, although various sites have been listed under the Habitats Directive, they still need management and planning measures directed at the Portuguese arched-mouth nase (6).
There are no specific conservation measures currently focusing on this endemic freshwater fish (5). Recommended actions include protecting and restoring its habitat, including maintaining minimum water levels during the dry season, and minimising the impacts of dam construction, water harvesting and aggregate extraction (5) (6) (7). Non-native species introductions also need to be controlled (6) (7).
Although the genetics and reproductive behaviour of the Portuguese arched-mouth nase have been studied, further research is needed into other aspects of its biology. It would also benefit from population monitoring and from the development of a species action plan (6) (7). The Portuguese arched-mouth nase has been shown to breed successfully in captivity, suggesting that captive breeding programmes could be a potential conservation tool for this species (5) (7) (8).
Genetic studies have suggested that populations of the Portuguese arched-mouth nase from the Tejo River and adjacent streams are distinct from those in the Sado basin. Further investigations may be needed to determine whether they are separate species (5).