Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 78, Issue 2, pp 107–114 | Cite as

Tilapia (Teleostei: Cichlidae) status in Nicaraguan natural waters

  • Jeffrey K. McCraryEmail author
  • Brian R. Murphy
  • Jay R. StaufferJr.
  • Sherman S. Hendrix
Original paper


We surveyed the watersheds covering more than 80% of the surface area of Nicaragua, and review the history of deliberate introductions and unintentional invasion of tilapias, Oreochromis spp., into the freshwater of Nicaragua. The species have become widely established, with a range of negative consequences for the rich natural fish fauna of this Central American country. Tilapias compete directly with native cichlids in a number of ways, and have also supplanted native species as food fish in local markets. We suggest that introduced tilapias may have been responsible for the outbreak of blindness in native cichlids. We make recommendations on the management of these exotic species and on further introductions.


Tilapia Invasive species Nicaragua Fisheries Aquaculture Cichlids 


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We thank Lorenzo López, Kenneth McKaye, Eric van den Berghe, Ad Konings, Willem Heinz and Kelly Fisher who provided essential strategic support for this study. This study was supported by a Fulbright Fellowship to Jeffrey McCrary, and by the College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech, DANIDA, Fundación Alistar, and FUNDECI/Gaia.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey K. McCrary
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Brian R. Murphy
    • 2
  • Jay R. StaufferJr.
    • 3
  • Sherman S. Hendrix
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of Science, Technology and EnvironmentUniversity of Central AmericaManaguaNicaragua
  2. 2.Conservation Management Institute, College of Natural ResourcesVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA
  3. 3.School of Forest ResourcesThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  4. 4.Biology DepartmentGettysburg CollegeGettysburgUSA

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