FRESH-WATER FISH DECLINE OF PUNE URBAN AREA

S. S. Kharat1 and Neelesh Dahanukar2

1- Zoology Department, Abasaheb Garware College, Pune 411004.

2- 1104 B, Shivaji Nagar, Shashi Apartments, Model Colony, Pune, 411 016.
Email :-
neeleshdahanukar@usa.net


Introduction

This paper explores the deplorable condition of fish fauna of Pune urban area that once revealed 25 species new to science out of total 26, described by Sykes in 1841 during his study on the fish fauna of Deccan (Ghate and Wagh, unpub.; Tilak and Tiwari, 1976). After a silent century, there was a sudden spurt of publications. The huge collection of fishes made by Fraser (1942) from Pune area was investigated by Hora and Misra (1942) recording 54 fish species. Suter (1944) added 17 species to Pune list. Tonapi and Mulherkar (1963) recorded 60 fish species from Pune, 25 being new local records. Yazdani and Mahabal (1978) recorded 34 fish species from Indrayani river. To assess the urbanization impact, Ghate and Wagh (unpubl.) resurveyed Mula and Mutha Rivers between 1992 and 1995, to list 64 fish species, 14 of which were fresh local records. All this literature records 110 fish species from Pune urban area, studied by us here. This re-survey reports about species extinction, population changes and introductions in relation to each other and various human influences.

Methodology

Our study area covers 25 km radius from the Pune City Post. Waterbodies here includes Mula River, Mutha River, Mula-Mutha River, a part of Indrayani River, a part of Pavana River, and three lakes - Katraj upper lake, Pashan lake, and Lakaki lake. Sampling this year involved collection at randomly chosen spots at these waterbodies and the related local markets. The specimens were preserved in 5% formalin in Abasaheb Garware college. Fishes were identified with the help of literature (Talwar and Jhingran, 1992; Menon, 1987; Jayaram, 1991; Day, 1878). Identification was verified with the help of Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI), Peechi where we found accessible expertise. Relative abundance of each fish species, population changes, and probable driving forces for population change were recorded from field observations and interviewing local fishermen.

Results and Discussion

We presently recorded 66 species from 38 genera and 18 families, taking the records for the area to 114 species from 47 genera and 22 families, depicted in the annex along with ecological parameters. We could not collect 48 species recorded earlier of which 18 fish species appear locally extinct form folk perceptions and habitat quality. Remaining 30 species are too rare, besides possibly escaping detection due to seasonal variations and sampling limitations. We doubt the presence of 12 fish species recorded earlier from Pune. Population of 6 species appears declining. Seven fish species have been introduced here recently. We recorded afresh 4 natural species from this area. The common and widespread species include Notopterus notopterus, Salmostoma boopis, Rasbora daniconius, Garra mullya, Mystus bleekeri, Oreochromis mossambica, Channa marulis etc. Five species are rare while another 7 are only occasionally encountered. About 25 species are recorded from a one or two localities each. Aundh and Yerwada are most important localities hosting about a dozen such localised species each.

The 18 species that have most possibly become locally are primarily large size fishes belonging to genera such as Anguilla, Tor, Bagarius, Silonia etc. having high consumption value and subject to heavy harvesting. Siltation due to catchment erosion or waste dumping makes the water column shallow, depriving the larger fishes their habitat. Human harvests affect 19 species including 6 that have shown significant decline, given their high food value and demand. Pollution has also driven significant population decline or loss. A locally extinct fish Ompak pabo was recorded here by Fraser in 1942. Of late, it has been recorded only in the far upstream of Mula River (Kharat et al, unpubl.). The two major rivers of Pune City, Mula and Mutha, are highly polluted owing to organic and inorganic waste. Mula River flows through an industrial zone and hence inorganic salts and heavy metals from the industrial wastes contaminate the water. This has probably resulted in absence of all fish species except Oreochromis mossambica near Khadki. Organic pollution has triggered spread of water hyacinth plants covering water surface in many places. While Katraj upper lake is polluted mainly by domestic sewage, Pashan lake is polluted also by industrial effluents. While this has affected most fish negatively, populations of few species such as Heteropneustus fossilis that can withstand organic pollution due to its breathing ability are even increasing. The introduction of commercially important fish such as Cyprinus carpio communis, Oreochromis mossambica have probably driven such as Labeo fimbriatus. Population decline of Aplocheilus liniatus feeding on larvae may be attributed to resource competition with introduced exotic larvivorus fishes of the family Poecillidae.

We doubt, based on circumstantial evidence, earlier of records a dozen fish species such as Notopterus chitala here. Neoissochilus wynnaadensis, a cyprinid fish recorded by Tonapi and Mulherkar (1963) is actually species endemic to Kerala (Shaji and Easa, 1998). Singh and Yazdani (1992) had likewise doubted the occurrence of Osteobrama cotio cunma from Mula-Mutha River. We report four species for the first time from the area. Cirrhinus cirrhosus, the cavery white carp, is a common fish in the Deccan (Nagulu et. al., 2000) and one specimen was collected from our study area. However, despite these four new geographical records, we conclude our findings on the sad not of decline of over third of the recorded species, another sixth having become locally extinct. Impending fish erosion cannot be minimised without halting siltation and promote optimal, rather than maximal harvests; and exploring checks on growth of exotic species.

Acknowledgment

Smt. S. P. Modak, Head, Dept. of Zoology and Dr. A. S. Inamdar, Principal, Abasaheb Garware College encouraged us by kindly providing laboratory facilities. Dr. H. V. Ghate, Head, Dept. of Zoology, Modern College, Pune guided us all through. Dr. C. P. Shaji, KFRI, Peechi confirmed identity and shared valuable perceptions. Mr. Anand Padhye helped in manuscript preparation. Mandar Paingankar and Mukul Mahabaleshwarkar helped us in the sampling. RANWA, particularly Utkarsh Ghate motivated and sponsored this study, besides trip to KFRI. We thank them all.

References

Day, F. 1878. Fishes of India (Vol. I and II). William Dawson and Sons Ltd., London.

Frazer, A. G. L. 1942. Fish of Poona- Part 1. Jr. B.N.H.S. 43: 79-91.

Frazer, A. G. L. 1942. Fish of Poona- Part 3. Jr. B.N.H.S 43: 452-454.

Ghate, H. V. and Wagh, G. K., (unpublished).

Hora, S. L. and Misra, K. S. 1942. Fish of Poona- Part 2. Jr. B.N.H.S 43: 218-228.

Jayaram, K. C. 1991. Revision of genus Puntius (Hamilton) from Indian region (Pisces: Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae: Cyprininae). Records of Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) Occasional Paper No. 135. ZSI, Culcutta.

Kharat, S. S., Dahanukar, N., Raut, R., and Mahabaleshwarkar, M. (unpublished) Changing fish fauna of Mula Mutha rivers.

Menon, A. G. K. 1987. Fauna of India and adjacent countries (Pisces) Vol 4 (Part 1), Homalopteridae. ZSI, Calcutta.

Nagulu V., Rao V. V. and Shriniwasulu C. 2000. Wildlife Heritage of the Deccan: Deccan Heritage. University Press, Hyderabad.

Shaji, C. P. and Easa, P. S. 1994. Status and distribution of endemic fresh water fishes in Kerala, Western Ghats of India. Tiger paper 25:21-24.

Singh, D. F. and Yazdani, G. M. 1991. Osteobrama bhimensis: a new Cyprinid fish from Bhima River, Pune District, Maharashtra. Jr. B.N.H.S 89:96-99.

Suter, M. J. 1944. New records of fish from Poona. Jr. B.N.H.S 44: 408-414.

Talwar, P. K. and Jhingran K. C. 1992. Inland fishes (Vol. I and II), Oxford and IBH, New Delhi.

Tilak, R. and Tiwari, D. N., (1976), On the fish fauna of Poona District (Maharashtra), News Letter Zoological Survey of India, 2 (5): 193-199.

Tonapi, G. T. and Mulherkar, L.,(1963), Notes on the freshwater fauna of Poona, Part:1, Fishes, Proc. Ind. Acad. Sci., 58:187-197.

Yazdani and Mahabal (1978), Fishes of Indrayani River, Biovigyanam (Poona) 2: 119-121.


ANNEXURE: Distribution pattern of fresh-water fishes of Pune city.

 * Records doubtful.
Localities are indicated only for species found at one or two sites
Abd (abundance): a-abundant, c-common, o-occassional, r- rare
Chg (change): d-decreasing, f-first record, in-increasing, it-introduced,
n-presently unrecorded, x-extinct
DF (Driving Forces):h-harvest, ie-introduced sp. effect, p-pollution 

FISH SPECIES

ABD

CHG

DF

LOCALITY

Family: Notopteridae

       

Notopterus chitala (Hamilton-Buchanan)*

 

n

   

N. notopterus (Pallas)

a

     

Family: Anguillidae

       

Anguilla bengalensis bengalensis (Grey)

 

x

h

 

Family: Cyprinidae

       

Subfamily: Cyprininae

       

Catla catla (Hamilton-Buchanan)

c

     

Cirrhinus cirrhosus (Bloch)

o

f

 

Aundh

C. fulungee (Sykes)

a

     

C. mrigala mrigala (Hamilton-Buchanan)

c

   

Yerwada

C. reba (Hamilton-Buchanan)

c

     

Cyprinus carpio coomunis Linnaeus

o

it

   

Gonoproktopterus kolus (Sykes)

a

     

G. thomassi (Day)

 

n

   

Labeo ariza (Hamilton-Buchanan)

r

d

h

Yerwada

L. boggut (Sykes)

r

d

h

Yerwada

L. calbasu (Hamilton-Buchanan)

a

     

L. fimbriatus (Bloch.)

 

x

h, ie

 

L. kawrus (Sykes)

 

x

h, ie

 

L. porcellus (Heckel)

c

     

L.potail (Sykes)

 

x

h

 

L. rohita (Hamilton-Buchanan)

a

     

L. sindensis (Day)

 

x

h

 

Neolissochilus wynaadensis (Day)*

 

n

   

Osteobrama cotio cunma (Day)*

 

n

   

O. cotio peninsularis Silas

c

     

O. neilli (Day)

c

   

Aundh

O. vigorsii (Sykes)

a

     

Osteocheilus (Osteochilichthys) godavarinsis (Rao)

c

f

 

Vishrantwadi

O. (Osteochilichthys) nashii (Day)

a

   

Warje, Aundh

O. (Osteochilichthys) thomassi (Day)*

 

n

   

Puntius amphibius (Valenciennes)

a

   

Aundh, Yerwada

P. arenatus (Day)

 

n

   

P. chola (Hamilton-Buchanan)

a

     

P. conchonius (Hamilton-Buchanan)

o

   

Warje, Aundh

P. dorsalis (Jerdon)

 

n

   

P. jerdoni (Day)

c

   

Aundh

P. melanostigma (Day)

 

n

   

P. sarana sarana (Hamilton-Buchanan)

r

d

h

Yerwada

P. sarana subnasutus (Valenciennes)

a

     

P. sophore (Hamilton-Buchanan)

c

     

P. ticto (Hamilton-Buchanan)

a

     

Rohetee ogilbii (Sykes)

c

   

Aundh

Schismatirhyncus (Nukta) nukta (Sykes)

 

x

h

 

Tor khudree (Sykes)

 

x

h

 

T. mussulah (Sykes)

 

n

   

Subfamily: Cultrinae

       

Chela cachius (Hamilton-Buchanan)

 

n

   

C. laubuca (Hamilton)

 

n

   

Salmostoma acinaces ( Valenciennes )

 

n

   

S. boopis (Day)

c

     

S. clupoides (Bloch)

 

n

   

S. novacula (Valenciennes)

c

     

S. phulo (Hamilton)

 

n

   

Subfamily: Rasborinae

       

Amblypharyngodon mola (Hamilton-Buchanan)

c

   

Aundh

Barilius barna (Hamilton-Buchanan)

 

x

h

 

B. bendelisis (Hamilton-Buchanan)

c

     

B. gatensis (Valenciennes)

 

x

h

 

Danio aequipinnatus (Mc-Clelland)

a

     

D. devario (Hamilton- Buchnan)*

 

n

   

D. malabaricus (Jerdon)

c

   

Aundh

Rasbora daniconious (Hamilton-Buchanan)

a

     

R. labiosa (Mukerji)

o

f

   

Subfamily: Garrinae

       

Crossocheilus latius latius (Hamilton- Buchanan)

 

x

p

 

Gara gotyla gotyla (Gray)

c

   

Aundh

G. mullya (Sykes)

a

     

Family: Parapsilorhynchidae

       

Parapsilorhynchus tentaculatus (Annandale)

 

x

p

 

Family: Balitoridae
Subfamily: Nemacheilinae

       

Nemacheilus anguilla Annandale

c

   

Warje

N. denisoni dayi Hora

 

n

   

N. denisoni denisoni Day

a

     

N. evezardi Day

a

     

N. moreh (Sykes)

a

     

N. rueppelli (Sykes)

c

   

Aundh, Yerwada

N. savona (Hamilton-Buchanan)

 

n

   

N. striatus Day *

 

n

   

N. sps. (resembling N. cincticouda(Blith)) *

 

n

   

N. sps. (resembling N. multifasciatusDay)*

 

n

   

N. sps. (resembling N. savonaHamilton)*

 

n

   

Family: Cobitidae
Subfamily: Cobitinae

       

Lepidocephalus guntea (Hamilton-Buchanan)

c

     

L. thermalis (Valenciennes)

 

n

   

Family: Bagridae

       

Aorichthys seenghala (Sykes)

c

     

Mystus bleekeri (Day)

c

     

M. cavasius (Hamilton-Buchanan)

a

     

M. gulio (Hamilton-Buchanan)

 

x

   

M. malabaricus (Jerdon)

c

   

Aundh, Yerwada

Rita kuturnee (Sykes)

o

   

Aundh

R. pavimentata (Valenciennes)

 

x

h

 

R. rita (Hamilton- Buchanan)*

 

n

   

Family: Siluridae

       

Ompok bimaculatus (Bloch)

a

     

O. pabo (Hamilton)

 

x

h, p

 

Wallago attu (Schneider)

r

d

h

 

Family: Schibeidae
Subfamily: Schibeinae

       

Proeutropiichthys taakree taakree (Sykes)

r

d

h, p

Yerwada

Silonia childreni (Sykes)

 

x

h

 

Family: Sisoridae

       

Bagarius bagarius (Hamilton-Buchanan)

 

x

h

 

B. yarrelli Sykes

 

n

   

Glyptothorax conirostre poonensis Hora

 

x

   

G. lonah (Sykes)

 

x

h

 

G. madraspatanum (Day)

o

   

Yerwada

Nangra itchkeea (Sykes)

 

n

   

Family: Heteropneustidae

       

Heteropneustes fossilis (Bloch)

c

it, in

p

Yerwada

Family: Belonidae

       

Xeneotodon cancila (Hamilton-Buchanan)

c

   

Yerwada

Family: Aplocheilidae

       

Aplocheilus lineatus (Valenciennes)

o

d

 

Vittalwadi,K'wasla

A. panchax ( Hamilton - Buchanan)*

 

n

ie

 

Family: Poeciliidae

       

Gambusia affinis (Baird & Girard)

a

it

   

Poecilia (Labistes) reticulata Peters

a

it

   

Xiphophorus hellerii Heckel

c

it

 

Warje,Vitthalwadi

Family: Ambassidae

       

Chanda nama Hamilton-Buchanan

c

   

Warje

Pseudambassis ranga (Hamilton-Buchanan)

c

     

Family: Mugilidae

       

Rhinomugil corsula (Hamilton-Buchanan)

c

it, in

p

Yerwada

Family: Cichlidae

       

Oreochromis mossambica (Peters)

a

it, in

p

 

Family: Gobiidae

       

Subfamily: Gobiinae

       

Glossogobius giuris (Hamilton-Buchanan)

c

     

Family : Belontiidae

       

Macropodus cupanus (Valenciennes)

 

n

   

Family: Channidae

       

Channa marulius (Hamilton-Buchanan)

c

     

C. orientalis Bloch & Schneider

 

n

   

C. punctatus (Bloch)

a

     

C. striatus (Bloch) *

 

n

   

C. sps.

 

n

   

Family: Mastacembelidae

       

Mastacembelus armatus (Lacepede)

c

     

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