Cornish Biodiversity Network  -  Supporting Wildlife Recording

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Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Gobius cobitis - Giant Goby

Habitat & Distribution

This species, the largest European goby, is found in pools between the mid and high tide levels. These pools typically contain standing water, boulders or large stones and a reasonable growth of green algae. In many cases the water in the pools is of a reduced salinity due to a fresh-water input. The Giant Goby has a markedly restricted distribution range in the British Isles, being confined to the extreme south-west. Most records come from the south coast of Cornwall with only an isolated record (at Godrevy) from the north coast. A few specimens have also been recorded at Wembury in south Devon in the past. This is a warmer water species at the most northern extremity of its range. It extends its

range south along the Atlantic coasts of France, Spain and Portugal into the Mediterranean and along the North African coast to Morocco.


There is no evidence that this species is endangered in the UK but it may be vulnerable to human disturbance due to recreational pressures on the seashore habitat. Pollution from fresh water run-off from nearby fields may pose problems for at least one population.


One population lies within the Helford V.M.C.A., part of the Fal-Helford SAC, whilst the Isles of Scilly has also been designated as Special Area of Conservation. This species was added to Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) in 1998, against killing, injuring, taking and selling or damaging/destroying any structure or place used by an individual for shelter or protection. It is also included on Natural England' s Species Recovery Programme.


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.