CEPF Western Ghats Special Series: Checklist of the fishes of the Achankovil forests, Kerala, India with notes on the range extension of an endemic cyprinid Puntius chalakkudiensis

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F. Baby
J. Tharian
S. Philip
A. Ali
R. Raghavan


We report the results of an ichthyofaunal inventory carried out in the Achankovil Reserve Forest in the southern Western Ghats as part of a Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund Project on lesser known freshwater fishes of Kerala . Forty-six species of freshwater fish, belonging to 17 families and 31 genera were collected from 11 sites inside the Achankovil Reserve Forest. Family Cyprinidae dominated with 21 species, followed by Bagridae, Balitoridae and Channidae (three species each). Out of the 46 species, 14 were endemic to the Western Ghats, three were endemic to Kerala region and one was exotic to the country. In this paper, we also report the range extension of an endemic cyprinid, Puntius chalakkudiensis to the Achankovil River and the Achankovil Reserve Forest. The fish diversity of this region is higher than many protected areas within southern Western Ghats, and stresses the need for immediate protection and monitoring programs.

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