Conservation Research Group CRG

Cochin, India

Conservation Research Group CRG

Cochin, India
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Dahanukar N.,Indian Institute of Science | Dahanukar N.,Outreach | Katwate U.,Bombay Natural History Society BNHS | Raghavan R.,Outreach | Raghavan R.,Conservation Research Group CRG
Zootaxa | Year: 2015

Badis britzi, the first species of the genus endemic to southern India, is described from the Nagodi tributary of the west-flowing Sharavati River in Karnataka. It is distinguished from congeners by a combination of characters including a slender body, 21-24 pored lateral-line scales and a striking colour pattern consisting of 11 bars and a mosaic of black and red pigmentation on the side of the body including the end of caudal peduncle, and the absence of cleithral, opercular, or caudal-peduncle blotches, or an ocellus on the caudal-fin base. Badis triocellus Khynriam & Sen is considered a junior synonym of B. singenensis Geetakumari & Kadu. Copyright © 2015 Magnolia Press.


Raghavan R.,University of Kent | Raghavan R.,Conservation Research Group CRG | Raghavan R.,Hasselt University | Raghavan R.,University of South Bohemia | And 9 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2013

While the collection of fish for the aquarium pet trade has been flagged as a major threat to wild populations, this link is tenuous for the unregulated wild collection of endemic species because of the lack of quantitative data. In this paper, we examine the extent and magnitude of collection and trade of endemic and threatened freshwater fishes from India for the pet markets, and discuss their conservation implications. Using data on aquarium fishes exported from India, we try to understand nature of the trade in terms of species composition, volume, exit points, and importing countries. Most trade in India is carried out under a generic label of "live aquarium fish"; yet despite this fact, we extracted export data for at least thirty endemic species that are listed as threatened in the IUCN Red List. Of the 1.5. million individual threatened freshwater fish exported, the major share was contributed by three species; Botia striata (Endangered), Carinotetraodon travancoricus (Vulnerable) and the Red Lined Torpedo Barbs (a species complex primarily consisting of Puntius denisonii and Puntius chalakkudiensis, both 'Endangered'). Using the endangered Red Lined Torpedo Barbs as a case study, we demonstrate how existing local regulations on aquarium fish collections and trade are poorly enforced, and are of little conservation value. In spite of the fact that several threatened and conservation concern species are routinely exported, India has yet to frame national legislation on freshwater aquarium trade. Our analysis of the trade in wild caught freshwater fishes from two global biodiversity hotspots provides a first assessment of the trade in endangered and threatened species. We suggest that the unmanaged collections of these endemic species could be a much more severe threat to freshwater biodiversity than hitherto recognized, and present realistic options for management. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Britz R.,Natural History Museum in London | Kumar K.,Community Environmental Resource Center | Baby F.,Conservation Research Group CRG
Zootaxa | Year: 2012

Pristolepis rubripinnis, new species, from the Pamba and Chalakudy rivers in Kerala, India, is distinguished from all other species of the genus by its colour pattern, which includes orange-red soft dorsal, soft anal and caudal fins, and a yellow to orange pelvic fin. It differs further from its southern Indian congener P. marginata in having 4 or 5 scales above the lateral line (vs. 3) and 10 scales below it (vs. 9). Copyright © 2012 · Magnolia Press.


Britz R.,Natural History Museum in London | Kakkassery F.,Thomas College | Raghavan R.,Conservation Research Group CRG
Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters | Year: 2014

Kryptoglanis shajii was recently described from a public well in Kerala, India. Its systematic position among cat- fishes has remained unresolved partly due to lack of morphological information. We present here a detailed osteological description of the skeleton of K. shajii and discuss its unusual skeletal features. Unlike most other catfishes Kryptoglanis has a fifth vertebra that is well-separated from the Weberian complex, a character shared only with the Diplomystidae, Helogenes and with the troglobitic or phreatic ictalurids Trogloglanis, Prietella and Satan. There is no trace of the dorsal fin or its supporting skeleton and the caudal fin skeleton consists of a single hypural plate articulating with five rays. Kryptoglanis has a number of reductive features, which may be interpreted as developmental truncations. It lacks the vomer, metapterygoid, all infraorbital bones except the antorbital, the mesocoracoid, and the pectoral fin spine. The phylogenetic position of Kryptoglanis remains unclear, even though the reduced condition of the palatine may point to a closer relationship with the Siluridae. Our osteological analysis of Kryptoglanis demonstrates that this genus cannot be accommodated into any known catfish family and we therefore propose the new family Kryptoglanidae for it.


Kanagavel A.,University of Kent | Kanagavel A.,Conservation Research Group CRG | Raghavan R.,University of Kent | Raghavan R.,Conservation Research Group CRG | Verissimo D.,University of Kent
Ambio | Year: 2014

Understanding how different audience groups perceive wildlife is crucial for the promotion of biodiversity conservation, especially given the key role of flagship species in conservation campaigns. Although the heterogeneity in preferences reinforces the need for campaigns tailored to specific target audiences, many conservation education and awareness campaigns still claim to target the ''general public''. Audiences can be segmented according to social, economic, and cultural criteria across which species perceptions are known to vary. Different studies have investigated the preferences of different groups towards certain wildlife species, but these are largely confined to a single conservation stakeholder group, such as tourists, local communities, or potential donors in western countries. In this study, we seek to determine from a multi-stakeholder perspective, audience characteristics that influence perceptions towards wildlife at Valparai, a fragmented plateau in the Western Ghats region of the Western Ghats-Sri Lanka Hotspot. We found that stakeholder group membership was the most important characteristic followed by gender. While some characteristics had a widescale effect others were restricted to a few species. Our results emphasize the need to design conservation campaigns with specific audiences in mind, instead of the very often referred to ''general public''. © Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2013.


Britz R.,Natural History Museum in London | Ali A.,Conservation Research Group CRG
Zootaxa | Year: 2015

Dario huli, new species, is described from a small tributary stream of the Tunga River in southern Karnataka, India. It can be distinguished from all its congeners except D. urops by the presence of a conspicuous black caudal-fin blotch and by anterior dorsal-fin lappets in males not being produced beyond fin spines. It is readily distinguished from Dario urops by the absence of the horizontal suborbital stripe (vs. presence), the presence of a series of up to eight black bars on the body (vs. 2-3 black bars restricted to caudal peduncle), 25 scales in a lateral row (vs. 28), 3-5 tubed lateral-line scales (vs. tubed lateral-line scales completely absent), 13+13=26 vertebrae (vs. 14+14-15=28-29), and the presence of teeth on hypobran-chial 3 (vs. absence of teeth). Copyright © 2015 Magnolia Press.


Pinder A.C.,East Stoke River Laboratory | Pinder A.C.,Bournemouth University | Raghavan R.,East Stoke River Laboratory | Raghavan R.,Conservation Research Group CRG | And 2 more authors.
Endangered Species Research | Year: 2015

The Western Ghats region of India is an area of exceptional freshwater biodiversity and endemism. Mahseer of the genus Tor are considered prized sport fishes of great cultural significance; nevertheless, they are threatened as a result of increasing anthropogenic stressors. In the River Cauvery, the mahseer community comprises a 'blue-finned' and an orange-finned, 'hump-backed' fish. Whilst it is not yet known whether these are distinct species or 2 different phenotypes, evidence suggests that the hump-backed phenotype is endemic to the river, whereas the blue-finned phenotype was introduced in the 1980s. Angler-catch data from a managed fishery on the River Cauvery, gathered between 1998 and 2012 and comprising 23 620 h of fishing effort, revealed that captured individuals ranged in size from 0.45 to 46.8 kg, with the blue-finned phenotype comprising 95% of all captured fish and the remainder being hump-backed. The catch per unit effort (CPUE) of the blue-finned phenotype significantly increased over the study period, while the mean weight of individual fish significantly declined. By contrast, the CPUE of the hump-backed phenotype declined significantly over the period, with individual mean weights significantly increasing. These data suggest a recent recruitment collapse in the hump-backed phenotype resulting in an ageing population that may be headed towards extinction. The introduced blue-finned phenotype, however, continues to recruit strongly, suggesting that the mahseer community of the River Cauvery has undergone considerable shifts in the last 30 yr. © The authors 2015.


Britz R.,Natural History Museum in London | Ali A.,Conservation Research Group CRG | Raghavan R.,Conservation Research Group CRG | Raghavan R.,University of Kent
Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters | Year: 2012

Pangio ammophik, new species, is described from India. It is distinguished from other congeners by its unique colour pattern consisting of a midlateral stripe and a reticulated pattern of chromatophores loosely organised in a middorsal and paired dorsolateral bands on a light beige background. © 2012 by Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil München Germany.


Britz R.,Natural History Museum in London | Ali A.,Conservation Research Group CRG | Raghavan R.,Conservation Research Group CRG | Raghavan R.,University of Kent
Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters | Year: 2013

Pseudolaguvia lapillicola, new species, is described from southern Karnataka, Peninsular India. It is distinguished from other congeners by its colour pattern consisting of a yellow brown ground colour with peppering of dark brown to black spots, two incomplete cream vertical bands restricted to ventral side of body and a crescentic mark at the base of the caudal fin separated from subdistal caudal fin blotches. It is similar to P.foveolata from West Bengal and the only other congener from Peninsular India, P. austrina, in having a rhomboid adhesive thoracic disc reaching posteriorly only to middle of pectoral-fin base, but is distinguished from these two species by details of body proportions. © 2013 by Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil, München, Germany.


Britz R.,Natural History Museum in London | Ali A.,Conservation Research Group CRG | Philip S.,Conservation Research Group CRG | Philip S.,University of Porto
Zootaxa | Year: 2012

Dario urops, new species, is described from a small stream of the Barapole tributary of Valapattanam River in southern Karnataka and from Wayanad District, Kerala. It can be distinguished from its congeners by the presence of a conspicuous black blotch on the caudal peduncle and a horizontal suborbital stripe, by the anterior dorsal fin lappets in males not being produced beyond fin spines, and by its vertebral count. Copyright © 2012 · Magnolia Press.

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