Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 48, Issue 1–4, pp 373–380 | Cite as

Sturgeons and the Aral Sea ecological catastrophe

  • Iliya Zholdasova


A short description of the catastrophic changes in the ecology of the Aral Sea basin during the three last decades is presented. These changes have influenced the status of two acipenserid endemics to the area, the large Amu-Dar shovelnose, Pseudoscaphirhynchus kaufmanni, and the ship sturgeon, Acipenser nudiventris. The main biological characteristics of both species in the new environmental conditions are given. Previous unsuccessful attempts to introduce other acipenserid species into the area are also described. International cooperation is needed for saving the last surviving species representing the genus Pseudoscaphirhynchus. The only two other species of the same genus, P. fedtschenkoi and P. hermanni, have already become victims of the Aral Sea catastrophe and are apparently extinct.

Amu-Dar River Syr-Dar River Pseudoscaphirhynchus kaufmanni P. fedtschenkoi P. hermanni Acipenser nudiventris pollution acclimatization Nitzschia 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iliya Zholdasova
    • 1
  1. 1.Karakalpak Branch of the Academy of Sciences of UzbekistanInstitute of BioecologyNukusRepublic Karakalpakstan

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