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Tor khudree

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII CYPRINIFORMES CYPRINIDAE

Scientific Name: Tor khudree
Species Authority: (Sykes, 1839)
Common Name(s):
English Black Mahseer, Khudree Mahseer, Deccan Mahseer, Mahseer, Yellow Mahseer
Synonym(s):
Barbus khudree Sykes, 1839
Barbus longispinis Günther, 1868
Barbus neilli Day, 1869
Tor khudree subspecies malabaricus (Jerdon, 1849)
Taxonomic Notes: Tor khudree was described by Sykes (1839) as Barbus khudree from Mula Mutha river in Pune, India.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A2acde ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-03-19
Assessor(s): Raghavan, R.
Reviewer(s): Dahanukar, N., Rema Devi, K.R., Ali, A. & Molur, S.
Contributor(s): Molur, S., Rema Devi, K.R. & Bogutskaya, N.
Justification:
Tor khudree is a widely distributed but highly exploited species which has resulted in drastic declines of more than 60% in the last ten years due to several factors including harvest as one of the major causes. The species is assessed as Endangered due to continuing decline in the overall population. It is recommended that the species populations are monitored as well as some harvest controls and management put into place or else the rate of decline will increase in the near future.
History:
2009 Endangered
2007 Endangered (IUCN 2009.2)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Known from the major rivers and reservoirs of central and peninsular India (Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala) as well as Sri Lanka (Pethiyagoda 1991, Shaji and Easa 2003, Dahanukar et al. 2004, Nguyen et al. 2008).
Countries:
Native:
India (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu); Sri Lanka
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is no comprehensive information on the population status of  T. khudree from either the Western Ghats or Sri Lanka. As this species is the most intensively exploited freshwater fish in the upper reaches of most river drainages (including reservoirs) in the Western Ghats, it is reasonable to believe that populations have declined in the recent past. A recent study from the Southern Western Ghats in Kerala indicated that T. khudree populations in both rivers and reservoirs are being subjected to high levels of fishing pressure, and at some sites the fishery is facing an impending collapse (Raghavan et al. in press). Fishing mortality (F) as high as 0.8 year-1 and exploitation rates (E) as high as 0.84 were encountered at some reservoirs of this region ((Raghavan et al. in press). The species has faced a drastic decline in the northern Western Ghats and has almost disappeared from its type locality in Mula-Mutha river of Pune (Kharat et al. 2003, Wagh and Ghate 2003).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: T. khudree is a mesopelagic species, preferring cool, fast-flowing, rocky streams, but also occurs in rivers, tanks, reservoirs and cold-water lakes. It is known to move to the upper reaches of small streams to spawn.
Systems: Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: T. khudree is one of the most sought after food fish in the Western Ghats, especially exploited by forest dwelling communities as well as locals residing along the major river systems (and reservoirs) of the region. In addition, this species is also the focus of an increasingly popular recreational/sport fishing industry in the state of Karnataka.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Fishing is the major threat to T. khudree in the Western Ghats. Local fishers in the region have indicated that catches of T. khudree have declined drastically in the last few years, and only smaller juveniles appear in the nets, compared to large adults that were frequently caught in 1980’s (Minimol 2000, Raghavan et al. in press.). Use of dynamite for catching T. khudree is prevalent in most of the rivers and reservoirs of Kerala. Dynamite fishing has been documented from the Southern WG since the early 1940’s and continues to be one of the most widely used destructive fishing techniques practiced in the region (Kurup et al. 2004, Raghavan et al. 2008).  Although dynamite fishing has been banned vide the Travancore Cochin Fisheries Act of 1950 (Government of Kerala, India) there is very little enforcement, and the practice continues to exist even inside protected areas of the region (Abraham et al. 2010). Alien Invasive species especially Cyprinus carpio and Oreochromis mossambicus are known to be a major threat to T. khudree in Periyar Lake, one of the major habitats for this species in Southern Western Ghats (Arun 1999, Kurup et al. 2006). T. khudree is also threatened by loss of habitat and pollution from multiple sources in the upper reaches of many rivers of Western Ghats. Pollution of rivers, heavy harvest and competition created by the introduced carps hae been suggested as major causes for the disappearence of this speceis from its type locality in Mula-Mutha rivers of Pune (Kharat et al. 2003, Wagh and Ghate 2003).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation actions for protecting T. khudree have been taken up by both private and government organizations in the Western Ghats. The Tata Electric Company at Lonavala, Pune; Wildlife Association of South India (WASI) and the Department of Fisheries (Karnataka) have been involved in large scale captive breeding and stock enhancement of T. khudree in the rivers and reservoirs of Maharashtra and Karnataka. The College of Fisheries at Mangalore, Karnataka have perfected the cryopreservation techniques for T. khudree. There are many temple sanctuaries in Karnataka (Sringeri, Chippalgude, Sishila) and Kerala (Kulathupuzha) where T. khudree are protected from exploitation.

Citation: Raghavan, R. 2013. Tor khudree. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 July 2014.
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