Patterns of diversity and conservation status of freshwater fishes in the tributaries of river Ramganga in the Shiwaliks of the Western Himalaya – A paper in Current Science

This paper is based on a short study to assess the species diversity and composition of freshwater fishes in three tributaries of Ramganga.

 One tributary was within a protected area (PA; Corbett National Park); the other two were outside the PA (Lansdowne Forest Division). Cast nets were used for fish sampling, which was done from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.

In total, 43 species belonging to eight families and five orders were recorded which included 29 species belonging to the threatened category. Family Cyprinidae was represented by the maximum number of species. Species richness and diversity was high in the PA. Similarity in fish composition varied from 60% to 70% across the tributaries. Dynamiting, poisoning and diverting water flows to collect fish are the major threats. 

The study recommends that it is necessary that habitat specific plans for such species should be formulated with long-term ecological study. Conservation measures, including stopping illegal fishing, dynamiting, poisoning, identifying crucial breeding habitats as fish sanctuary and creating mass awareness are needed to save the threatened fish fauna of this region.

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