In the Systematic Freshwater Conservation Plan for the Crocodile (West) and Marico Water Management Area (WMA), the Marico barb, E. motebensis and the Canary kurper, C. flaventris, were identified as being of special conservation concern (Smith-Adao, et al., 2006). Two other species, Chiloglanis pretoriae (Shortspine suckermouth) and Amphilius uranoscopus (Stargazer catfish), were also identified as being of conservation importance (Smith-Adao, et al., 2006).

The Marico barb is endemic to the Crocodile (West) and Marico WMA and is only known from 10 locations in the upper reaches of the Marico and Crocodile Rivers (Engelbrecht & Bills, 2013). The biggest threats to the habitat of the Marico barb in the Crocodile (West) and Marico WMA are impacts such as water abstraction and predation from introduced species such as Largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides. The Marico barb is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species due to its restricted geographical range (Engelbrecht & Bills, 2013). According to research done by Van der Walt et al. (2017), the Marico barb population from the Draaifontein tributary in the upper Marico River Catchment show relatively recent genetic isolation from other populations. Significant genetic structuring and diversity among some of the other tributaries- Vanstraatensvlei tributary- were also recorded (Van der Walt, Swartz, Woodford, & Weyl, 2017). From the results of the research, it can be seen that the Draaifonteinspruit and Vanstraatensvlei tributaries are of importance for the conservation of Marico barb as they support unique haplotypes (Van der Walt, Swartz, Woodford, & Weyl, 2017). It was also found that the Kaaloog tributary has the highest genetic diversity of all the Marico barb populations therefor the conservation of this tributary will contribute significantly towards maintaining the detected genetic diversity of the Marico barb (Van der Walt, Swartz, Woodford, & Weyl, 2017).