Fish diversity in streams/rivers of Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu, India

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K. Kannan
J.A. Johnson


This article describes fish diversity in streams and rivers of Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR), Tamil Nadu.  Fifty species of fishes belonging to 10 orders, 15 families, and 32 genera are recorded.  Seven species, Garra joshuai, G. kalakadensis, Haludaria kannikattiensis, Hypselobarbus tamiraparaniei Mesonemachilus tambraparniensis, Neolissochilus tamiraparaniensis, and Dawkinsia tambraparniei are strictly endemic to this protected area.  The minnows, Devario aequipinnatus, Garra mullya, and G. kalakadensis are widely distributed in KMTR streams.  High species diversity (H’=2.81) was recorded in Gadana River, whereas low species diversity (H’=0.61) was registered in Poonkulam area.  Bray-Curtis similarity analysis showed that sites along the headwater streams have similar faunal assemblage.  Result of regression analysis revealed that there is a significant pattern explained between stream order and species richness (r2=0.86; p<0.05).  Among 50 species, four (Garra kalakadensis, G. joshuai, Dawkinsia tambraparniei, and Tor malabaricus) are listed in threatened categories of IUCN Red List.  Important threats faced by endemic species and their management strategies are discussed.

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