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Journal of Research in Biology

An International Scientific Research Journal

ISSN No: Print: 2231 6280; Online: 2231- 6299

Original Research

Diversity, distribution, threats and conservation action of fish fauna in Chinnar Reservoir, Tamil Nadu

Authors:

Manickam Raja, Rajendiran Ramkumar and Pachiappan Perumal.

Institution:

1. Department of Biotechnology, Periyar University, Periyar Palkalai Nagar, Salem- 636 011 Tamil Nadu, India.

Corresponding author:

Manickam Raja.

Email Id:

Nadu, India. Corresponding author: Manickam Raja. Email Id: Web Address: http://jresearchbiology.com/

Web Address:

http://jresearchbiology.com/

documents/RA0432.pdf.

ABSTRACT:

The freshwater fish fauna of the Chinnar reservoir/Chinnar River a tributary of the Cauvery River system in the Tamil Nadu at the Eastern part of Ghats was studied. A total of thirty two (32) species of freshwater fish belonging to seven (7) orders, ten (10) families and twenty four (24) genera were recorded. Out of the 32 species, the present study recorded the presence of three (3) threatened, one (1) vulnerable and twenty eight (28) least concerned species. The highest species diversity was recorded in Chinnar Reservoir (n=22) and lowest diversity was found in the Gujjarahalli (n=9). The fish fauna of the Chinnar reservoir is threatened due to anthropogenic activities such as deforestation leading to siltation, sand mining, over fishing by using dynamite, organic and inorganic pollution. Hence, there is an urgent need to develop and implement conservation plans that are needed.

Keywords:

Chinnar reservoir, Eastern Ghats, biodiversity status, sand mining, threats.

Article Citation:

Manickam Raja, Rajendiran Ramkumar and Pachiappan Perumal. Diversity, distribution, threats and conservation action of fish fauna in Chinnar Reservoir, Tamil Nadu. Journal of Research in Biology (2014) 4(3): 1317-1327

Dates:

Received: 11 Mar 2014

Accepted: 22 Mar 2014

Published: 06 Jun 2014

This article is governed by the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by/2.0), which gives permission for unrestricted use, non-commercial, distribution and reproduction in all medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Journal of Research in Biology An International Scientific Research Journal

1317-1327 | JRB | 2014 | Vol 4 | No 3

www.jresearchbiology.com

Raja et al., 2014

INTRODUCTION The ichthyofauna of Eastern Ghats have not been thoroughly studied as that of the Western Ghats. Rema Devi and Indra (2003) have listed 127 fish species from Eastern Ghats based on their extensive collections and the earlier reports beginning with Day (1878). The Eastern Ghats are a series of broken and weathered relict embodies as a series of isolated hills in the peninsular plateau (Mani 1974). Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri parts of the Eastern Ghats are the discontinuous patches of hills with fragmented dry deciduous forest types by which small streams originate. The region is mostly covered with agricultural lands (66.5%), the dry deciduous and dry deciduous scrub forests constitute about 6.8%. Evergreen and semi-evergreen forests forms about 0.3% (NRSA, 2007). The reservoirs and lakes were the main assets exploited due to inland fisheries. The understanding of fish faunal diversity is a foremost feature for the exploitation of freshwater reservoirs (Battul et al., 2007). The detailed information of fishery resources, their availability and distribution in a particular water body is essential for proper consumption of its fishery resource (Pawar et al., 2007). The spatial and temporal patterns of diversity, distribution and species composition will be useful to study the factors influencing the fish community structure (Galacatos et al., 2004). Many fish species have become highly endangered by human engrossment in the riverine ecosystems as a result of habitat loss (Lima-Junior et al., 2006; Mas-Marti et al., 2010). Freshwater fishes are one of the most threatened taxonomic groups (Darwall and Vie, 2005) because of their high sensitivity to the alteration of aquatic habits (Laffaille et al., 2005; Sarkar et al., 2008; Kang et al.,

2009).

Ichthyofauna diversity on different river systems of India have been surveyed by Jayaram et al., (1982), Talwar and Jhingran (1991), Menon (1992) and contemporary works include those of Rema Devi (1992),

Rema Devi et al., (1999), Easa and Shaji (1997), Rema Devi and Raghu Nathan (1999), Arunachalam and Sankaranarayanan (1999), Rema Devi and Indra (2000), Arunachalam and Muralidharan (2007, 2008 and 2009), Arunachalam et al., (2006, 2013, and 2014), Raja et al., (2014). So far, very little scientific studies have been carried out on the reservoirs of Tamil Nadu. The Chinnar River takes its origin from a wetland system called Thali Lake or Thali Big Tank. Sanathkumar River, the name at its origin from Thali Lake and the adjoining streams waters from fragmented hilly terrain were regulated with several Anicut/check dams, confluences with Chinnar River and regulated as Chinnar Reservoir. The Chinnar Reservoir (Panjapalli Dam) is located (12°29'29"N 77°55'26"E) in Panjapalli- village of Dharmapuri District, Tamil Nadu. The reservoir formed by the dam is a lake of 420 acres impounding 500 mile cubic feet of water at its maximum level. The reservoir comprises of an earthen dam of 365 m length across river Chinnar. The irrigation network consists of one main canal, two distributaries and twelve direct sluices. The reservoir provides irrigation for 1600.63 ha of land under the old and new commands in Palacode and Karimangalam Taluks of Dharmapuri District apart from services by means of groundwater recharge, nutrient supply, water purification, recreation and habitats for various biota. The Chinnar river confluences with Cauvery river at Hogenakkal, which is situated at 61Km from Chinnar reservoir. Chinnar reservoir is one of the important reservoirs in northern part of Tamil Nadu that need serious attention in its management and conservation of fishery resources. Detailed studies on fish fauna of this reservoir are still lacking. To fill this gap, the present study was carried out in order to examine the diversity, distribution, threats and conservation plan for fish fauna in the different spreads of Chinnar reservoir.

Raja et al., 2014

Raja et al. , 2014 Figure 1. Showing the locations/ study sites of upstream/downstream areas of

Figure 1. Showing the locations/ study sites of upstream/downstream areas of Chinnar Reservoir, Tamil Nadu.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

The fish survey and collections were done

covering in 12 sites upstream/downstream of Chinnar

reservoir in Dharmapuri District, Tamil Nadu (Fig. 1)

viz; Chinnar Reservoir (S1), Panjapalli (S2), Periyanoor

(S3), Samanur (S4), Marandahalli (S5), Upparahalli (S6),

Chikkapavalli (S7), Sukkanahalli (S8), Nallur (S9),

Ganganahalli (S10), Chikkamarandahalli (S11) and

Gujjarahalli (S12). Fish were collected with the help of

gill nets, cast nets and drag nets during January-

December, 2013. The sampling was made in 100-200 m

stretches of each site. Local fisherman was involved in

netting and collection. The specimens were lively

photographed with Canon 1100 Digital SLR camera and

representative specimens of each species were fixed in

7% formalin and preserved in 70% alcohol for voucher

collection. The collected specimens were transported to

the Department of Biotechnology Cum Laboratory

museum of the Periyar University Museum of Natural

History (PUMNH- a newly started one in the year 2013),

Salem, Tamil Nadu, India and assigned the specimen

catalogue numbers (Accession number PUMNH 71-102.

The species identification was carried out using Talwar

and Jhingran, (1991); Jayaram, (2010) and nomenclatural

names were followed by the catalogue of fishes of the

California academy of sciences (Eschmeyer and Fricke,

2011; Pethiyagoda et al., 2012) and fish status was

checked in IUCN red list (IUCN, 2013).

Raja et al., 2014

Raja et al. , 2014 Figure 2. Showing the some of the fish species collected from

Figure 2. Showing the some of the fish species collected from Chinnar Reservoir.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

The details of fish species recorded from the

present study sites are given in Tables 1 & 2. The

Chinnar reservoir preserves a rich variety of fish species,

on the basis of studies conducted so far, as it harbour

thirty two (32) species of fish species (Fig.2); belonging

to seven (7) orders, ten (10) families and twenty four

(24) genera. Among those only one species of

Osteoglossiformes- Notopterus notopterus was recorded.

Cypriniformes dominates the catch list with seventeen

(17) species belonging to twelve (12) genera also, five

(5) species of Siluriformes belonging to two (2) families

and four (4) genera were seen. One species of

M ugi l i fo r me s , C yp r i no do nt i for me s a n d

Synbranchiformes such as Xenentodon cancila,

Aplocheilus lineatus and Mastacembelus armatus and six

(6) species of Perciformes belonging to three (3) families

and four (4) genera are identified.

In the upstream/ downstream of Chinnar

reservoir the presence of highest species diversity

(Fig. 3) was recorded in Chinnar reservoir (S1; n=22),

followed by the Panjapalli (S2; n=18). The lowest

species diversity was recorded in the Gujjarahalli (S12;

n=9) and Nallur (S9; n= 10). The present survey records

Raja et al., 2014

Raja et al. , 2014 Figure 3. Species diversity within the study sites of Chinnar Reservoir,

Figure 3. Species diversity within the study sites of Chinnar Reservoir, Tamil Nadu.

the presence of three (3) economically important as well

as near threatened species, Mystus armatus, Ompok

bimaculatus, Oreochromis mossambicus; one (1)

vulnerable species Cyprinus carpio and twenty eight

(28) species are in least concerned categories. According

to IUCN 'Red list 2013' 3% of the species are in

vulnerable state, 9% are near threatened and 88% are

least concerned in Chinnar reservoir (Fig. 4).

The fish species such as Devario aequipinnatus,

Rasbora cauverii, Dawkinsia filamentosa, Puntius chola,

Puntius dorsalis, Pethia ticto, Pethia conchonius,

Aplocheilus lineatus having the prominent ornamental

Aplocheilus lineatus having the prominent ornamental Figure 4. Conservation status of fish species collected from

Figure 4. Conservation status of fish species collected from different study sites of Chinnar Reservoir, Tamil Nadu.

value due to small size and bright colours can be used as

aquarium fishes. The economically important and high

commercial valued fish species such as Notopterus

notopterus, Gibelion catla, Labeo calbasu, Labeo rohita,

Ompok bimaculatus, Clarias batrachus, Heteropneustes

fossilis, Mastacembelus armatus, Channa marulius, and

Channa punctata were also found in much abundance.

Whereas, only one species of hill adapted fish species,

Garra mullya was recorded.

The fish fauna of Chinnar River is under threat as

a result of several anthropogenic interferences;

deforestation leading to siltation, inorganic pollution of

the river, dynamite fishing, and recreational activities are

common in most of the stretches of the river. The

evidence collected from the local people and local

fisherman shown high decline in the fish population in

previous decade due to dynamite fishing by nearby black

granite quarry mining workers and excessive in stream

sand-and-gravel mining of the river belt.

The scientific studies on the environmental

impact of mining were carried out at different forest

regions (Ram Prasad, 1992). During October 10, 2009

the High court of Madras, appointed Professor

M. Arunachalam as an Expert-Commissioner to provide

an assessment of sand/gravel mining impact on Chinnar

Raja et al., 2014

Near Threatened

Near Threatened

Near Threatened

Least Concern

Status- (IUCN

Least Concern

Least Concern

Least Concern

Least Concern

Least Concern

Least ConcernAmblypharyngodon

Least Concern

Least Concern

Least Concern

Least Concern

Least Concern

Least Concern

Least Concern

Least Concern

Least Concern

Least ConcernDawkinsia

Least Concern

Least Concern

Least Concern

Least Concern

Least Concern

Least Concern

Least Concern

Least Concern

Least Concern

Least Concern

Least Concern

Conservation

VulnerableCyprinus

2013)

Putti- kendai, Karoon Sall- kendai, Palpooran, Mookanam- kendai Pulli kendai Valli kendai Katla,Thoppa meen, Koora kendai, Karavai Kakkameen, Karuppusel, Karunchel, Kurrimenu

Kennadi- kendai, Rohu Kallu koravai Sonanng keletee Naikeluthi, Vellakelete Savallai, Silaivalai Thal- meen, Thal- kendai Thaylee/ Thailimeen Kokkumeen, Vellai mooral Mundakanni, Manankanni, Vanampartha meen Aarrah Kannadi meen Setha kendai, Bommi Sella- kasu, Puradi, Selladai meen Tilapia, Jilabi-meen Aviri-Puveral, Iru vraal Korava

Chottavalai, Chappathi, Chennavalai Valachel, Vellachi- kenda Sampaj Artcandee Vennathi- kendai, Akkili varatankendai Vannathipodi, Selaiparavai Pattakunju, Bhavani kendai

Chavalle, Mocha- kendai

Table 1 List of fish species in Chinnar Reservoir, Tamil Nadu.

Pachathalai kendai

Vernacular name

Carp

Mastacembelidae

Cyprinodontidae

Centropomidae

Notopteridae

Cyprinidae

Cyprinidae

Cyprinidae

Cyprinidae

Cyprinidae

Cyprinidae

Cyprinidae

Cyprinidae

Cyprinidae

Cyprinidae

Cyprinidae

Cyprinidae

Cyprinidae

Cyprinidae

Cyprinidae

Cyprinidae

Cyprinidae

Channidae

Channidae

Belonidae

Cichlidae

Cichlidae

Cichlidae

Clariidae

Clariidae

Bagridae

Bagridae

Bagridae

Family

Cyprinodontiformes

Osteoglossiformes

Synbranchiformes

Cypriniformes

Cypriniformes

Cypriniformes

Cypriniformes

Cypriniformes

Cypriniformes

Cypriniformes

Cypriniformes

Cypriniformes

Cypriniformes

Cypriniformes

Cypriniformes

Cypriniformes

Cypriniformes

Cypriniformes

Cypriniformes

Cypriniformes

Mugiliformes

Siluriformes

Siluriformes

Siluriformes

Siluriformes

Siluriformes

Perciformes

Perciformes

Perciformes

Perciformes

Perciformes

Perciformes

Order

melettinus

Puntius chola Puntius dorsalis Pethia ticto Pethia conchonius Gibelion catla Labeo calbasu Labeo rohita Garra mullya Mystus armatus Mystus cavasius Ompok bimaculatus Clarias batrachus Heteropneustes fossilis Xenentodon cancila Aplocheilus lineatus Mastacembelus armatus Parambassis ranga Etroplus maculatus Etroplus suratensis Oreochromis mossambicus

filamentosa

Notopterus notopterus Salmophasia bacaila Salmophasia boopis Barilius gatensis Barilius bendelisis Devario aequipinnatus Rasbora cauverii

carpio

Channa punctata

Channa marulius

List of Fishes

No

Sl.

23
24

13
14

10

30

19
20

25
26

15
16

31
32

11
12

21
22

28
29

17

27

18

3
4

6
7

1
2

8 9

5

S12

--

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-Amblypharyngodon

-

Cyprinus carpio Linnaeus, 1758 filamentosa (Valenciennes, 1844) -Dawkinsia

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

S11

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Table 2. Fish distribution from upstream/downstream areas of Chinnar Reservoir, Tamil Nadu. (‘+’ = Present; ‘-’ = Absent)

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

S10

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

S9

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

S8

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

S7

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

S6

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

S5

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

S4

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

S3

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

S2

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

S1

melettinus (Valenciennes, 1844)

Puntius chola (F.Hamilton, 1822) Puntius dorsalis (Jerdon, 1849) Pethia ticto (F.Hamilton, 1822) Pethia conchonius (F.Hamilton, 1822) Gibelion catla (F.Hamilton, 1822) Labeo calbasu (F.Hamilton, 1822) Labeo rohita (F.Hamilton, 1822) Garra mullya (Sykes, 1839) Mystus armatus (Day, 1865) Mystus cavasius (F.Hamilton, 1822) Ompok bimaculatus (Bloch, 1794) Clarias batrachus (Linnaeus, 1758) Heteropneustes fossilis (Bloch, 1794) Xenentodon cancila (F.Hamilton, 1822) Aplocheilus lineatus (Valenciennes, 1846) Mastacembelus armatus (Lacepede, 1800) Parambassis ranga (F.Hamilton, 1822) Etroplus maculatus (Bloch, 1795) Etroplus suratensis (Bloch, 1790) Oreochromis mossambicus (W.K.H Peters, 1852) Channa marulius (F.Hamilton, 1822) Channa punctata (Bloch, 1793)

List of Fishes Notopterus notopterus (Pallas, 1769) Salmophasia bacaila (F.Hamilton, 1822) Salmophasia boopis (F.Day, 1874) Barilius gatensis (Valenciennes, 1844) Barilius bendelisis (F.Hamilton, 1807) Devario aequipinnatus (McClelland,1839) Rasbora cauverii (Jerdon, 1849)

Sl.No.

23
24

13
14

9
10

30

19
20

15
16

25
26

21
22

11
12

31
32

28
29

17

27

18

3
4

6
7

1
2

8

5

Raja et al., 2014

Raja et al., 2014

river ecosystem and the land use pattern along the stretches of river below the reservoir. His report concluded that, the river system under assessment needs at least five years to restore and hence sand/gravel mining should not be carried out for the next five years (Arunachalam, 2009). Instream sand mining resulted in the habitat loss and channel morphology alteration leads to dreadful conditions of aquatic biota; this continued mining cause the entire stream to excavation (Kondolf et al., 2002) and negative effects on aquatic life (Johnes and O’Sullivan, 1989). An increase in the amount of fine sediments increase the amount of sediment-associated nutrients (especially phosphorus) and contaminants in the river water. This increases the amount of water quality degradation caused by excessive nutrients with the resulting negative impacts to aquatic life (Owens and Walling, 2002; Correll, 1998). Ecosystem integrity also embodies the degree of self-organization (Muller et al., 2000). Once the system’s reliability is troubled by human actions, the natural patterns of species structure and associated ecological processes (e.g. food web dynamics) are likely to be replaced by others that may not provide the means for enduring species existence (Chellappa et al., 2003). In India the protection of aquatic biodiversity is ineffective due to the lake of scientific data and conservation plans.

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION Interaction with the local fishermen and Inland fisheries department regarding the abundance of fish diversity in the Chinnar reservoir resulted the overexploitation plays a major role to eradicate the fish species. The majority of the fish catch is during monsoon season. Only, nets with large size gill nets are allowed in the rainy season, which are useful to catch the exotic species. Culturing techniques for endangered/threatened species should be developed to protect the endangered/ threatened species by taking critical steps to conserve the

genetic diversity. The removal of the exotic species, Oreochromis mossambicus is advantageous to reservoir fishery. The presence of tilapia decreases the population of other fish species. Thus, it is beneficial to remove this population by selective fishing. In view of the existing practices there is an urgent need to take up certain conservation approach to control the drastic drop down in fish population and to save the vulnerable, threatened species from wiping out of the region. Though, there are certain legal restrictions in few areas, but it remained un- productive due to lack of uniformity in its implementation.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The corresponding author is grateful to SERB- DST (Government of India) - Start up Research Grant for Young Investigators (vide File No. DST No. SB/YS/LS- 36/2013) and also thank Mr. S. Mariappan for line drawing.

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