Periyar Tiger Reserve Survey Reveals Aquatic Diversity

  • 24 May 2024

In May, 2024, the inaugural aquatic multi-taxa survey in Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) uncovered remarkable diversity in predatory insects and fish, highlighting the ecological richness of the sanctuary.

Key Points

  • Survey Details: The survey was conducted from May 16 to 19 by 75 experts and fishermen eco-development committee members.
  • Assessed Habitats: The survey covered streams of the Periyar, Mullayar, and Pampa basins, along with Periyar Lake.
  • Fish Species Recorded: Fifty-six fish species were identified, the highest count recorded from any study in PTR since the 1940s.
  • Micro-Endemism; Nine fish species are endemic to PTR, with eight recorded during the survey, demonstrating the reserve's unique biodiversity.
  • Alien Fish Species: Four exotic fish species were noted: African Catfish, Common Carp, Mozambique Tilapia, and Nile Tilapia.
  • Odonate Diversity: Four new predatory insect species were discovered, raising the total to 120, the highest recorded in any protected area in Kerala.
  • Conservation Impact: The presence of endemic species indicates successful management in controlling invasive species, highlighting PTR’s effective conservation strategies.