Advertisement

Biological Invasions

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 37–40 | Cite as

Exotic fish species in a global biodiversity hotspot: observations from River Chalakudy, part of Western Ghats, Kerala, India

  • Rajeev RaghavanEmail author
  • Gopalan Prasad
  • P. H. Anvar-Ali
  • Benno Pereira
Original Paper

Abstract

We record here the occurrence of five exotic fish species viz Oreochromis mossambicus, Gambusia affinis, Osphronemus goramy, Xiphophorus maculatus and Poecilia reticulata in the Chalakudy River, part of the Western Ghats, a global biodiversity hotspot in Kerala, India. O. mossambicus was ubiquitous in occurrence with large shoals being encountered at all sampling sites spread along the downstream-upstream gradient of the river, including at an altitude of 1050 m ASL. Osphronemus goramy was recorded from the downstream region of the river while Gambusia affinis was recorded from three sampling sites located downstream as well as midstream. Xiphophorus maculatus was collected from a second order stream flowing through a tea plantation at an altitude of 1050 m ASL. Samples of brooders and early fry of Poecilia reticulata indicate that the fish has already established a breeding population in the river. Possible threats to the indigenous fish fauna of the Chalakudy River as a result of the invasion and proliferation of these exotics is discussed.

Keywords

Biodiversity hotspot Exotics Fish India Kerala Western Ghats 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to Dr. Larry Page, Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH) for generous grants of funds through the All Catfish Species Inventory Project (ACSI). Thanks are also due to the graduate students of the Department of Aquaculture, St. Albert’s College for their unstinted help during the field trips.

References

  1. Ajithkumar CR, Remadevi K, Thomas KR, Biju CR (1999) Fish fauna, abundance and distribution in Chalakudy river system, Kerala. J Bombay Nat Hist Soc 96(2):244–254Google Scholar
  2. Balarin JD (1979) Tilapia. A guide to their biology and culture in Africa. University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland. 174 pGoogle Scholar
  3. Biju CR, Thomas KR, Ajitkumar CR (2000) Ecology of hill streams of the Western Ghats with special reference to fish community, final report 1996–1999. Project report submitted to Bombay Natural History Society, Bombay, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  4. Daniels RJR (2003) Impact of tea cultivation on the anurans in the Western Ghats. Curr Sci 85(10):1415–1422Google Scholar
  5. Froese R, Pauly D (eds) (2006) Fishbase world wide web electronic publication. http://www.fishbase.org version (10/2006)
  6. Jayaram KC (1981) Fresh water fishes of India–Hand book. Zoological survey of India, Calcutta, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  7. Jayaram KC (1999) The freshwater fishes of the Indian region. Narendra Publishing house, New Delhi, 509 ppGoogle Scholar
  8. Jhingran AG (1984) The fish genetic resources of India. Bureau of fish genetic resources. Allahabad and Maya Press Pvt. Ltd., Allahabad, India, 83 pGoogle Scholar
  9. Kurup BM, Radhakrishnan KV, Manojkumar TG (2003) Biodiversity status of fishes inhabiting rivers of Kerala (S. India) with special reference to endemism, threats and conservation measures. In: Wellcome RL, Petr T (eds) Proceedings of LARS2. 2nd large rivers symposium. Phnom Penh. 11th to 14th February 2003. pp 163–182Google Scholar
  10. Kurup BM, Manojkumar TG, Radhakrishnan KV (2005) Salarias reticulatus–a new freshwater blenny from Chalakudy River, Kerala, South India. J Bombay Nat Hist Soc 102(2):195–197Google Scholar
  11. New South Wales, Department of Primary Industries. (2006). http://www.fisheries.nsw.gov.au/aquatic_habitats/aquatic_habitats/alien_fish, cited 24th January 2007
  12. Pethiyagoda R, Kottelat M (1994) Three new species of fishes of the genera Osteochilichthys (Cyprinidae), Travancoria (Balitoridae) and Horabagrus (Bagridae) from the Chalakudy River, Kerala, India. J South Asian Nat Hist 1(1):97–116Google Scholar
  13. Shaji CP, Arun LK, Easa PS (1998) Garra surendranathini–A new cyprinid fish from the South Western Ghats. J Bombay Nat Hist Soc 93(3):572–575Google Scholar
  14. Talwar PK, Jhingran AG (1991) Inland fishes of India and adjacent countries. Vol I & II, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co., Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, 1158 ppGoogle Scholar
  15. Tekriwal KL, Rao AA (1999) Ornamental and aquarium fish of India. Kingdom Books, P. O. Box 15 Waterloo Ville PO 7 6 B Q, England, 144 pGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rajeev Raghavan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gopalan Prasad
    • 2
  • P. H. Anvar-Ali
    • 2
  • Benno Pereira
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AquacultureSt. Albert’s CollegeKochiIndia
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyUniversity of KeralaKariavattom, TrivandrumIndia

Personalised recommendations