Pangasius sanitwongsei 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Siluriformes Pangasiidae

Scientific Name: Pangasius sanitwongsei Smith, 1931
Common Name(s):
English Giant Pangasius, Pangasid-catfish, Paroon Shark, Pla Thepa
Pangasius beani Smith, 1931
Pangasius sanitwangsei Smith, 1931

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A2acd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Jenkins, A., Kullander, F.F. & Tan, H.H.
Reviewer(s): Collen, B., Darwall, W., Ram, M. & Smith, K. (SRLI Freshwater Fish Evaluation Workshop)
There are ongoing threats to P. sanitwongsei, including harvesting, and alteration of the river for dams and increased shipping.

Assessed as Critically Endangered due to an estimated population decline of more than 99% over three generations, even using the most optimistic values for generation time and population size (assuming a constant exponential rate). This rate has been inferred for the whole population given that the same threats exist throughout the range of P. sanitwongsei.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The species is known from the Chao Phraya and Mekong basins in Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam.
Countries occurrence:
Cambodia; China (Yunnan); Lao People's Democratic Republic; Thailand; Viet Nam
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Two sub-populations may be separated by the Khone Falls, over which P. sanitwongsei does not appear to migrate (Poulsen 2001).

Local fishermen report declines in sightings/catch of P. sanitwongsei; one interviewee said that P. sanitwongsei had disappeared from his catch, while another (ex-chair of the Giant Catfish Fishermens Club) said that 'fifteen years ago 100 P. sanitwongsei were caught per year…five years ago about 5-20 fish were caught per year…recently the catch has declined further and the fish has disappeared' (Meynell 2003).

Generation time is not known, but that of the closely related Pangasianodon gigas is estimated at 10-15 years.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:P. sanitwongsei is a benthopelagic, potamodromous species which inhabits large rivers surrounded by rainforest. P. sanitwongsei uses deep pools as refuges in the dry season.
Generation Length (years):10
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: No captive breeding known, therefore 100% wild harvest assumed.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Overfishing for food and to a lesser extent the aquarium trade, has depleted the natural population of P. sanitwongsei (Wang 1998).

This species is likely to have been affected by the destruction of rapids and reefs as part of the Upper Mekong Navigation Improvement Project, and by the construction of dams. Projects such as these affect the natural flood/drought cycles throughout the river, and therefore the migratory behaviour of fish such as P. sanitwongsei.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: In 1989 P. sanitwongsei was listed as a Class II protected species by the provincial government of Yunnan, China.

Classifications [top]

5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
1. Land/water protection -> 1.2. Resource & habitat protection
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.1. Harvest management
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.2. Trade management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.1. Intentional use: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.2. Intentional use: (large scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.2. Dams & water management/use -> 7.2.11. Dams (size unknown)
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓   National : ✓  International : ✓ 

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 International : ✓ 

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Citation: Jenkins, A., Kullander, F.F. & Tan, H.H. 2009. Pangasius sanitwongsei. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T15945A5324983. . Downloaded on 15 October 2018.
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