Department of Basic Sciences, ACE College for Women, Faisalabad, Pakistan
The Western Ghats of India which is also called “Great Escarpment of India”has been declared as World’s Heritage1. Endemic species in any region possess a huge significance as they amplify the amount of genetic diversity of that specific area. It is reported that Western Ghats is one of the hotspots of biodiversity in the world and gifted with rare, endemic as well as threatened species of flora and fauna2. Accordingly, the freshwater fish fauna is considered as one of the most imperative threatened and endemic taxonomic species of this area3.
It is reported that factors which play a key role in destruction of endemic species include introduction of alien fish species, industrial and urban pollution, over harvesting detructive fishing methods, habitat loss, big dam constructions, diseases such as EUS (Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome) and unmanaged aquarium trade4.
Global warming is also a potential threat to endemic species from biodiversity hotspot5. Human activities and many invasive species also play a significant role in damaging the flaural diversity of Western Ghats6.
For this reason, conservation measures should be initiated in order to protect the endemic as well as threatened species. Accordingly, by reducing human encroachment in aquatic habitat as well as use of aquatic resources in a sustainable manner can resolve this issue.
Considering these facts, scientists conducted a new research in order to investigate the assemblage structure, evaluate abundance, distribution, diversity, richness of endemic as well as threatened fishes from Northern Western Ghats of Kolhapur district. The study area is located in the extreme Southern part of Maharashtra state7.
In this study, scientists reported 23 species of fishes belonging to seven families and 19 genera. Among them, 9 species were found to be threatened and 20 species are endemic to Western Ghats. It is also reported by scientists that six species are threatened and endemic as well. Puntius sahyadriensis, Nemacheilus anguilla, Pterocryptis wynaadensis and Glyptothorax trewavasae are first time reported from Kolhapur district.
Conclusively, the number of threats to fish fauna from rivers of Kolhapur district is very high. There is a dire need to take a solid decision towards the conservation of ichthyofauna. If the present situation remains constant, the adverse conditions might lead to the loss of the ichthyofauna from experimental area. The crux of matter is continuous monitoring of fish species and protection of fish fauna is sorely needed.
- Myers, N., R.A. Mittermeier, C.G. Mittermeier, G.A.B. da Fonseca and J. Kent, 2000. Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature, 403: 853-858
- Hanson, T., T.M. Brooks, G.A.B. da Fonseca, M. Hoffmann and J.F. Lamoreux et al., 2009. Warfare in biodiversity hotspots. Conserv. Biol., 23: 578-587
- Holmlund, C.M. and M. Hammer, 1999. Ecosystem services generated by fish populations. Ecol. Econ., 29: 253-268
- Katwate, U., D. Apte and R. Raut, 2013. Vanishing rice fields around Mumbai Metropolitan region: A cause of fish loss? Newsletter of the IUCN-SSC/WI Freshwater Fish Specialist Group-South Asia and the Freshwater Fish Conservation Network of South Asia, pp: 17-20.
- Malcolm, J.R., L. Canran, R.P. Neilson, L. Hansen and L. Hannah, 2006. Global warming and extinctions of endemic species from biodiversity hotspots. Conserv. Biol., 20: 538-548
- Dahanukar, N., R. Raut, A. Bhat, 2004. Distribution, endemism and threat status of freshwater fishes in the Western Ghats of India. J. Biogeogr., 31: 123-136
- Patil, T.S., A.R. Bhosale, R.B. Yadav, R.S. Khandekar and D.V. Muley, 2015. Study of endemic and threatened fish species diversity and its assemblage structure from Northern Western Ghats, Maharashtra, India. Int. J. Zool. Res., 11: 116-126
How to cite this article:
Zunaira Mahmood, 2020. How can We Conserve Fish Fauna of Western Ghats?. Asian Journal of Emerging Research, 2(2): 60-61.