November 15, Thimphu: A field guide listing 104 freshwater fish species of western Bhutan has been launched. It covers the detailed taxonomic position, quality photographs, distribution maps, present conservation status and local names of species belonging to 16 families and 47 genera.
Out of 104 species, the book includes 57 news species recorded in Bhutan along with 11 nonnative fish species introduced in various parts of the country for commercial purposes.
The National Research Centre for Riverine and Lake Fisheries (NRCR&LF), Haa has made detailed surveys and inventories of Bhutan’s three western river basins including Amochhu, Punatsangchhu and Wangchhu and their tributaries. All fishes are identified to the species epithet wherever possible. For those cases in which a confirmed identification was not possible, specimens are designated as unspecified to species and listed as genus group sp.
The book will inspire science educators, researchers and resource managers to learn more about Bhutan’s fishes and to gather additional information that can contribute to the informed management of all aquatic resources in the country.
According to a spokesperson, water bodies in western river basins are expected to experience continued development projects including hydroelectric dams for which a comprehensive fishery database is crucial to develop effective management plans for Bhutan’s aquatic resources.
The book is published by NRCR&LF with fund support from the Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation.
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