Ichthyodiversity of Periyar Tiger Reserve, Kerala, India

Main Article Content

K.V. Radhakrishnan
B.M. Kurup


Previous checklists of fishes from the Periyar Tiger Reserve, Kerala merely included species from Periyar Lake and adjoining streams. To fill this lacuna, we conducted a comprehensive survey, across 10 diverse aquatic habitats within Periyar Tiger Reserve, revealing the occurrence of 54 species belonging to six orders and 19 families; an addition of 17 species to the previous lists. Twenty-four species found in this reserve were listed under different threat categories. Forty-six species were found only in less than four sampling sites of which 18 species were encountered in single location each. Nine species were very common, 10 common, 17 moderate, 12 rare and six very rare in their relative abundance. Twenty-two species are endemic to the Western Ghats of which six species are found only in the Periyar Tiger Reserve. The Periyar river-stream system had more number of fish species (36, 67%) than Pamba river-stream system. Among the different sampling sites, Azhutha had both the highest number of fish species (30) and the highest number of threatened fish species (14). The highest number of low abundant fish species (very rare/rare) was observed at Mlappara (7). Considering the restricted distribution, number of endemic fishes and threat status, it is necessary to implement urgent management plans for the conservation of freshwater fish fauna of Periyar Tiger Reserve.

Article Details

Author Biographies

K.V. Radhakrishnan

Dr. K.V. Radhakrishnan, a freshwater fish ecologist, completed his PhD from the School of Industrial Fisheries, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Cochin, Kerala, India. He has a vast knowledge on the taxonomy and ecology of freshwater fishes of Western Ghats of India.

B.M. Kurup

Dr. B. Madhusoodana Kurup is a Professor and Director of School of Industrial Fisheries in Cochin. He is a leading ichthyologist in the country, working on various aspects of fish life history including taxonomy, ecology, population dynamics and also conservation and sustainable utilization of fishery resources.