Main Article Content
We present here a detailed account of the diversity, distribution, threats, and conservation of freshwater fishes in the upper-catchment of the Kabini River in the Wayanad part of the Western Ghats Biodiversity Hotspot. A total of 136 fish species belonging to 13 orders, 29 families, and 69 genera were recorded. Order Cypriniformes dominated with five families, 36 genera, and 84 species, and Cyprinidae was the dominant family represented by 51 species within 21 genera. The true diversity of ichthyofauna in this catchment, is still unclear and requires further exploration and taxonomic studies. At least 44 species recorded during the study are endemic to the Western Ghats, of which 16 are endemic to the Cauvery River System and two species endemic to the Kabini Catchment. A total of 20 non-native fish species were recorded from the study area, of which six species were inter-basin (within India) transplants and 14 species were exotic. Among the native species with confirmed identity, four are Critically Endangered (CR) and nine Endangered (EN) as per the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. As a part of the study, we also extend the distribution ranges of Opsarius malabaricus, Laubuka trevori, Opsarius bendelisis, Puntius cauveriensis, Oreichthys coorgensis, Mesonoemacheilus pambarensis, Hypselobarbus curmuca, and Pseudosphromenus cupanus to the Kabini Catchment. The presence of four species, which were earlier considered to be endemic to the west flowing rivers of the Western Ghats, viz, Laubuka fasciata, Hypselobarbus kurali, Sahyadria denisonii, and Puntius mahecola, in an east flowing stream is reported and discussed. Deforestation and removal of riparian vegetation, pollution, stream channel modification, sand mining, destructive fishing practices, dams and other impoundments, monsoon fishing, and non-native species are the major threats to freshwater fishes in the region. Strategies for the conservation of aquatic ecosystems in the Kabini Catchment are discussed.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors own the copyright to the articles published in JoTT. This is indicated explicitly in each publication. The authors grant permission to the publisher Wildlife Information Liaison Development (WILD) Society to publish the article in the Journal of Threatened Taxa. The authors recognize WILD as the original publisher, and to sell hard copies of the Journal and article to any buyer. JoTT is registered under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY), which allows authors to retain copyright ownership. Under this license the authors allow anyone to download, cite, use the data, modify, reprint, copy and distribute provided the authors and source of publication are credited through appropriate citations (e.g., Son et al. (2016). Bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) of the southeastern Truong Son Mountains, Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam. Journal of Threatened Taxa 8(7): 8953–8969. https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.27220.127.116.1153-8969). Users of the data do not require specific permission from the authors or the publisher.
Abraham, R. (2011a). Hypselobarbus kurali. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T172485A6901847. Downloaded on 11 May 2020. https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-1.RLTS.T172485A6901847.en DOI: https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-1.RLTS.T172485A6901847.en
Abraham, R. (2011b). Puntius mahecola. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T172365A6876934. Downloaded on 11 May 2020. https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-1RLTS.T172365A6876934.en
Ali, A., R. Raghavan & N. Dahanukar (2015). Sahyadria denisonii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T169662A70082469. Downloaded on 11 May 2020. https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-1.RLTS.T169662A70082469.en DOI: https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-1.RLTS.T169662A70082469.en
Ali, A. & R. Raghavan (2011). Hypselobarbus periyarensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T172351A6874205. Downloaded on 31 August 2020. https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-1.RLTS.T172351A6874205.en DOI: https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-1.RLTS.T172351A6874205.en
Ali, A. & R. Raghavan (2015). Pethia pookodensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T172333A70366431. Downloaded on 12 May 2020. https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-1.RLTS.T172333A70366431.en DOI: https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-1.RLTS.T172333A70366431.en
Anoop, V.K., N. Dahanukar, S. Philip, L. Thomas & R. Raghavan (2018). Phylogeny of the hillstream loach genus Mesonoemacheilus reveals widespread diversification through ancient drainage connections in the Western Ghats Biodiversity Hotspot. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 129(2018): 77–84. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2018.08.013 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2018.08.013
Arunachalam, M. & A. Manimekalan (2000a). Economically important and cultivable fishes of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, pp. 237–239 In: Ponniah, A.G. & A. Gopalakrishnan (eds.). Endemic Fish Diversity of Western Ghats. National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources - NATP, 1(347).
Arunachalam, M. & A. Manimekalan (2000b). Ornamental fish diversity of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, In: Ponniah, A.G. & A. Gopalakrishnan (eds.). Endemic Fish Diversity of Western Ghats. National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources - NATP, 1(347): 228–229.
Arunachalam, M., J.A. Johnson & A. Manimekalan (2000a). Cultivable and ornamental fishes in rivers of Wynad District, Kerala, In: Ponniah, A.G. & A. Gopalakrishnan (eds.). Endemic Fish Diversity of Western Ghats. National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources - NATP, 1(347): 240–243.
Arunachalam, M., J.A. Johnson, A. Manimekalan, A. Sankaranarayanan & R. Soranam (2000b). Cultivable and ornamental fishes of Western Ghats rivers of south India. In: Ponniah, A.G. & A. Gopalakrishnan (eds.). Endemic Fish Diversity of Western Ghats. National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources - NATP, 1(347): 205–214.
Bijukumar, A., S. Philip, A. Ali, S. Sushama & R. Raghavan (2013). CEPF Western Ghats Special Series: Fishes of River Bharathapuzha, Kerala, India: diversity, distribution, threats and conservation. Journal of Threatened Taxa 5(15): 4979–4993. https://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o3640.4979-93 DOI: https://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o3640.4979-93
Bijukumar, A., S. Raj, C.P. Arjun, U. Katwate & R. Raghavan (2019). Jurassic invaders: flood-associated occurrence of arapaima and alligator gar in the rivers of Kerala. Current Science 116(10): 1628–1630.
Britz, R., V.K. Anoop & N. Dahanukar (2018). Dario neela, a new species of badid fish from the Western Ghats of India (Teleostei: Percomorpha: Badidae). Zootaxa 4429(1): 141–148. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4429.1.6 DOI: https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4429.1.6
Casimiro, A.C.R, D.A.Z. Garcia, A.P. Vidotto-Magnoni, J.R. Britton, A.A. Agostinho, F.S. Almeida & M.L. Orsi (2018). Escapes of non-native fish from flooded aquaculture facilities: the case of Paranapanema River, southern Brazil. Zoologia 35: 1–6. https://doi.org/10.3897/zoologia.35.e14638 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3897/zoologia.35.e14638
Dahanukar, N. & R. Raghavan (2013). Freshwater fishes of Western Ghats: Checklist MIN-Newsletter of IUCN SSC/WI, FFCNSA 1: 6–16.
Dahanukar, N., R. Raghavan, A. Ali, R. Abraham & C.P. Shaji (2011). The status and distribution of freshwater fishes of the Western Ghats, pp. 21–48. In: Molur, S., K.G. Smith, B.A. Daniel & W.R.T. Darwall (comp.). The Status of Freshwater Biodiversity in the Western Ghats, India. International Union for Conservation of Nature & Zoo Outreach Organization, 116pp.
Day, F. (1867). On some fishes from the Wayanad. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 347–352.
Easa, P.S. & C. Basha (1995). A Survey on the Habitat and Distribution of Stream Fishes in the Kerala Part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. Kerala Forest Research Institute. Research Report 104: 1–87.
Easa, P.S. & C.P. Shaji (1996). Fresh water fishes of Pambar River, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 93(2): 304–305.
Easa, P.S. & C.P. Shaji (1997). Freshwater fish diversity in Kerala part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. Current Science 73: 180–182.
Easa, P.S. & C.P. Shaji (2003). Biodiversity Documentation for Kerala, 8: Freshwater Fishes. Kerala Forest Research Institute, India, 127pp.
Fricke, R., W.N. Eschmeyer & R. Van der Laan (eds) (2020). Eschmeyer’s catalogue of fishes: genera, species, references. http://researcharchive.calacademy.org/research/ichthyology/catalog/fishcatmain.asp. Electronic version accessed on 02 September 2020.
Global Invasive Species Database (2020). http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/search. Electronic version accessed 09 September 2020.
Gopi, K.C. (2006). Fish fauna of Kozhikode District, Kerala, south India. Records of the Zoological Survey of India 244: 1–39.
IUCN (2014). Using freshwater KBAs for informing conservation and development policy and action in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Results from the ‘Refining and validating freshwater Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) for Kerala and Tamil Nadu’ workshops. IUCN, Cambridge, UK.
Jerdon, T.C. (1847). The fishes of South India. Madras Journal of Literature and Science 15: 139–149.
Jerdon, T.C. (1849). On the freshwater fishes of southern India. Madras Journal of Literature and Science 15: 302–346.
Junk, W. J., P.B. Bayley & R.E. Sparks (1989). The flood-pulse concept in river-floodplain systems. Canadian Special Publications Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 106: 110–27.
Kottelat, M. & T. Whitten. (1996). Freshwater biodiversity in Asia with special reference to fish. World Bank Technical Paper# 343. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1596/0-8213-3808-0
Knight, J.D.M. (2015). Description of two new species of Laubuka (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) from River Cauvery, southern India. Zootaxa 4000(5): 518–530. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4000.5.2 DOI: https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4000.5.2
Knight, J.D.M. & R.G. Kumar (2015). A review of the species of Oreichthys (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) in the Western Ghats, India. Zootaxa 3914(2):157–167. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3914.2.5 DOI: https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3914.2.5
Knight, J.D.M, A. Rai, R. D’souza & B. Vijaykrishnan (2015). Barilius ardens (Teleostei: Cyprinidae), a new species from the Western Ghats, India, with redescription of Barilius malabaricus and Barilius canarensis. Zootaxa 3926(3): 396–412. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3926.3.5 DOI: https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3926.3.5
Kurup, B.M., K. Radhakrishnan & T.G. Manojkumar (2004). Biodiversity status of fishes inhabiting rivers of Kerala (S. India) with special reference to endemism, threats and conservation measures. Proceedings of Second Large Rivers Symposium, 163–182pp.
Lopez, M.M., P. Gale, B. Oidtmann & E. Peeler (2010). Assessing the impact of climate change on disease emergence in freshwater fish in the United Kingdom. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases 57: 293–304. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1865-1682.2010.01150.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1865-1682.2010.01150.x
Marsh-Mathews, E. & W.J Mathews (2000). Geographical, terrestrial and aquatic factors: which most influence the structure of stream fish assemblages in Midwestern United States. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 9: 9–21 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1034/j.1600-0633.2000.90103.x
Mercy, A.T.V. & E. Jacob (2007). A new species of Teleostei: Puntius pookodensis (Cyprinidae) from Wayanad, Kerala, India. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 104: 76–78.
Molur, S., K.G. Smith, B.A. Daniel & W.R.T. Darwall (2011). The Status of Freshwater Biodiversity in the Western Ghats, India. International Union for Conservation of Nature Gland, Switzerland & Zoo Outreach Organization Coimbatore, India. 116pp.
Myers, N., R.A. Mittermeier, C.G. Mittermeier, G.A.B. da Fonseca & J. Kent (2000). Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403(6772): 853–858. https://doi.org/10.1038/35002501 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/35002501
Nelson, J., T. Grande & M. Wilson (2016). Fishes of the World, fifth edition. John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, New Jersey, xlii+707pp. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119174844 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119174844
Pusey, B.J. & A.H. Arthington (2003). Importance of the Riparian Zone to the Conservation and Management of Freshwater Fish: A Review. Marine and Freshwater Research 54(1): 1–16 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1071/MF02041
Raghavan, R. & A. Ali (2011). Laubuca fasciata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T172501A6904678. Downloaded on 11 May 2020. https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-1.RLTS.T172501A6904678.en DOI: https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-1.RLTS.T172501A6904678.en
Raghavan, R., N. Dahanukar & S. Molur (2015). Curbing academic predators: JoTT’s policy regarding citation of publications from predatory journals. Journal of Threatened Taxa 7(10): 7609–7611. http://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o4388.7609-11 DOI: https://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o4388.7609-11
Raghavan, R., G. Prasad, A. Ali & B. Pereira (2008). Fish fauna of Chalakudy River, part of Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot, Kerala, India: Patterns of distribution, threats and conservation needs. Biodiversity Conservation 17: 3119–3131. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-007-9293-0 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-007-9293-0
Raghavan R, A. Ali, S. Philip & N. Dahanukar (2018). Effect of unmanaged harvests for the aquarium trade on the population status and dynamics of redline torpedo barb: A threatened aquatic flagship. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 28(3): 567–574. https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.2895 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.2895
Shaji, C.P. (2011). Puntius cauveriensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T172379A6879427. Downloaded on 11 May 2020. https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-1.RLTS.T172379A6879427.en DOI: https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-1.RLTS.T172379A6879427.en
Shaji, C.P. & P.S. Easa (1995). Freshwater fish diversity in Wayanad, Kerala, south India. The Zoological Society of Kerala 5: 30–36
Shaji, C.P. & P.S. Easa (1998). Status and distribution of endemic freshwater fishes in Kerala, Western Ghats, India. Tiger Paper 25: 21–24.
Shaji, C. P. & K. Laladhas (2013). Monsoon flood plain fishery and traditional fishing methods in Thrissur District, Kerala. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge 12: 102–108.
Strahler A.N. (1957). Quantitative analysis of watershed geomorphology. American Geophysical Union Transactions 38: 913–920 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029/TR038i006p00913
Tan, M. & J. Armbruster (2018). Phylogenetic classification of extant genera of fishes of the order Cypriniformes (Teleostei: Ostariophysi). Zootaxa 4476(1): 6–39. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4476.1.4 DOI: https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4476.1.4
Thampy, D.R., A.G. Kurian, K.R. Devi & R.G. Kumar. (2020). The identity of Rasbora neilgherriensis (Teleostei: Danionidae), with a re-description. Zootaxa 4894(2): 261–268. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4894.2.5 DOI: https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4894.2.5
Vannote, R.L., G.W. Minshall, K.W. Cummins, J.R. Seebell & C.E. Cushing (1980).The River Continuum Concept. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 37: 130–137. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1139/f80-017
Wakode, H., D. Dutta, V. Desai, K. Baier & R. Azzam (2011). Morphometric analysis of the upper catchment of Kosi River using GIS techniques. Arabian Journal of Geosciences 6: 395–408. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-011-0374-8 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-011-0374-8