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Horabagrus brachysoma

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII SILURIFORMES BAGRIDAE

Scientific Name: Horabagrus brachysoma
Species Authority: (Günther, 1864)
Common Name(s):
English Günther's Catfish, Bulls Eye Catfish, Golden Red Tail Catfish, Sun Catfish, Yellow Catfish
Synonym(s):
Pseudobagrus brachysoma Günther, 1864
Pseudobagrus chryseus Day, 1865
Taxonomic Notes:

Horabagrus brachysoma was described by Albert Gunther (1864) from Cochin under the name Pseudobagrus brachysoma.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2bd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-07-02
Assessor(s): Raghavan, R. & Ali, A.
Reviewer(s): Arunachalam, M., Madhusoodana Kurup, B., Basheer, V.S., Abraham, R. & Molur, S.
Contributor(s): Molur, S.
Justification:
Horabagrus brachysoma is assessed as Vulnerable as populations have undergone declines over the last decade. While the population has declined by more than 50% in most (80%) of its range, recent conservation action in Vembanad and Shastankota lakes in Kerala has increased the populations there by 25%. Overall there has been a 35% decline in the global population due to overexploitation and habitat loss.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

The distribution ofH. brachysoma is restricted to rivers (and occasionally lakes and backwaters) in the southern region of the Indian subcontinent. This species is known to occur in the Chalakudy, Periyar, Meenachil, Manimala, Pampa, Moovatupuzha and Achenkovil rivers, Vembanad Lake (Ali et al. 2000), Shasthamkotta Lake, Muriyad and Kole wetlands, Chaliyar and Karuvannur River (A. Ali and R. Raghavan pers. obs.), Kallada River (R. Abraham pers.obs.) in Kerala and the Nethravati River and estuary, Aghanashini and Kali rivers of Karnataka State (Ali et al. 2000). The species occurs commonly in freshwater canals of southern Kerala (V.S. Basheer pers. obs.).

Countries:
Native:
India (Karnataka, Kerala)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: While Prasad (2008) reports that overfishing has resulted in population decline of H. brachysoma in Periyar and Pampa Rivers in Kerala, other reports suggest that the species is actually increasing in population size in Vembanad Lake, Pamba and Achenkovil rivers, Shastankotta Lake (Kurup et al. 2005, Kurup and Kumar 2009). However, the population data and trends in Karnataka are not known.

The H. brachysoma population has been artificially increased in two locations in Kerala (Vembanad Lake and Shastankota Lake) where ranching was practised in 2000-2003 and 2006 respectively (V.S. Basheer pers. comm.). The estimated area of increasing populations across its entire range is approximately 20%. While this is the case, the overall population has been undergoing a decline due to overexploitation and habitat loss.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

H. brachysoma is a benthic form, primarily occupying lowland areas of rivers and backwaters with mud and sand as substrate, but has also been recorded from the deep pools in hill streams (Ali et al. 2007). This species is an omnivorous and euryphagous feeder (Sreeraj et al. 2006).

Systems: Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: H. brachysoma is one of the most important inland food fish, highly appreciated for its taste and has a very high consumer demand in Central Kerala (Kurup et al. 2005, Sreeraj et al. 2007). It is exploited throughout its range and usually marketed live (Prasad 2008). In addition, fingerlings of this species are collected and exported to the international aquarium trade (Raghavan 2006). In Karnataka, the species is a good fishery species in coastal areas.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Fishing is the major threat to H. brachysoma throughout its range. The unmanaged fishery may lead to a collapse of stocks in several rivers where overfishing has already been demonstrated. In addition, lowland areas of all rivers where the species is known to occur are threatened by pollution, sand mining and reclamation (Ali et al. 2007; Prasad 2008; Sreeraj et al. 2007).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Captive breeding and seed production technology of the species being perfected by the Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS) of the Kerala Agricultural University (Ali et al. 2007). As the species is known to be overexploited in two rivers of Kerala (Prasad 2008), there is an urgent need to devise management plans for regulating the harvests. Suitable sanctuaries need to be created in its most important habitats to protect spawning stock. Milt cryopreservation is done as part of ex-situ gene banking of this species (NBFGR 2000).

Citation: Raghavan, R. & Ali, A. 2013. Horabagrus brachysoma. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 22 December 2014.
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