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 the 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 fauna1. Accordingly, the freshwater fish fauna are considered as one of the most imperative threatened and endemic taxonomic species of this area2.
From the conservation viewpoint, several threats as well as conservation strategies were reported by previous scientists from Western Ghats. These researchers reported that introduction of alien fish species; habitat losses, industrial and urban pollution, construction of big dams as well as unmanaged aquarium trade, all are becoming a cause to threaten the different species3.
Moreover, according to some publications, global warming is an important main threat of endemic species from biodiversity hotspot4. 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 solve 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 state5.
In this study, scientists reported twenty three species of fishes belonging to seven families and nineteen genera. Among them, 9 species were found to be threatened and twenty species are endemic to Western Ghats. Moreover, team we found 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. Hence, it’s the need of hour 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.
Key words: endemic species, genetic diversity, threatened species, ichthyofauna, aquatic resources, global warming, faunal assemblage
- 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.
- Tejas S. Patil, Amrut R. Bhosale, Rupesh B. Yadav, Rupali S. Khandekar and Dipak V. Muley, 2015. Study of Endemic and Threatened Fish Species Diversity and its Assemblage Structure from Northern Western Ghats, Maharashtra, India. International Journal of Zoological Research, 11: 116-126.