27 December 2013


PlanetCatfish, the leading website for all things catfish, has announced the PlanetXingu project. The goal is to raise the money needed for hard scientific research into a vibrant but doomed stretch of the Xingu River. Many species of fish favoured by aquarists come from this area, yet little research has been done. PlanetXingu is a praise worthy effort to document a fast disappearing habitat.

To donate to the project via PayPal, the secure donation page is here

(by Julian Dignall on Catfish, June 10, 2013)
 "... Harnessing aquarists and the internet to quickly and globally support, disseminate and indeed test scientific research in the field of tropical fish ichthyology is something I thought I’d like have a crack at bringing about. It seemed to me that the loricariid catfish of Brazil’s Rio Xingu would make a good starting point, for a variety of reasons. ...there is a lot going on in the Xingu from socio-economic and conservation perspectives and knowing what’s going on would also be of interest to many. Furthermore, aquarists have identified many forms of catfish from the river that are not described by scientists and there are many, many questions keepers and breeders alike would like to know about new species, populations and so on. Brazil’s positive list that defines which species may legally be collected for export is another consideration... 

Money, as always, is a factor: many of these fishes are desirable and, so, worth a lot of money – the interaction between the supply and demand is important if we are to consider such things as sustainable exports and responsible fishkeeping. With likely habitat loss imminent, we may soon be in a last chance data capture and mitigation phase - the data captured during the project will help inform those intent on mitigating the "disaster". To do that we need to understand species concepts and, as a higher goal, demonstrate the global uniqueness of the Xingu. 

Finally, there is an element of time as well; it is very likely parts of the Xingu will be changed by man’s activities, and in the near future too. It appears some species live in relatively small areas and so are at high risk of impact by such activity. It is my hope that we can find out more about the fishes and how they live in the river. Perhaps we will find bad news too, but I think it is important to have facts... "

read the full article on PlanetCatfish

related posts on stormidae here

To donate to the project via PayPal, the secure donation page is here
Rio Xingu

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