ICHTHYOFAUNA AT WARATHENNA-HAKKINDA ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AREA IN KANDY, SRI LANKAAuthors: D.Thilakarathne,G.N.Hirimuthugoda,T. Lakkana,S. Kumburegama
The Mahaweli River, which is the longest river in Sri Lanka, flows through the wet, intermediate and dry zones of the country. Large extents along this river are yet to be explored for its rich biodiversity. One such area along the Mahaweli River at Gatambe, Warathenna in the Kandy District appears to harbor a diverse community of flora and fauna and hence recently declared as an Environmental Protection Area (EPA). The present study was carried out to investigate and prepare a comprehensive checklist of the freshwater fish in this EPA. Field sampling was carried out using a cast net to survey the fish along the margins while fishermen’s catch was used to identify fish in deeper waters. Twenty-eight fish species belonging to 11 families were recorded from the EPA. Overall, the study site harbors nearly 30% of the islands’ native freshwater species and over 60% of the species recorded from the Mahaweli River. Eight species are endemic and 14 of the recorded species are categorized as Least Concerned, five as Near Threatened, one as Vulnerable and one as Endangered. The Endangered Labeo fisheri was recorded during this study confirming this site as one of the few locations where this species is found in the island. Interestingly, the islands’ largest Tor khudree (0.964 m) was documented during this survey. Furthermore, Esomus thermoicos, Pseudetroplus maculatus and Amblypharyngodon grandisquamis were recorded for the first time above 500 m a.s.l. Seven exotic species were also recorded with two invasive and four potential invasive species.
Keywords: Freshwater fish, Mahaweli River, Species diversity, Western Ghats-Sri Lanka biodiversity hotspot, Labeo fisheri, Channa ara
How to Cite: Thilakarathne,D,Hirimuthugoda,G.N, Lakkana,T, Kumburegama,S, (2019). ICHTHYOFAUNA AT WARATHENNA-HAKKINDA ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AREA IN KANDY, SRI LANKA.WILDLANKA, 7(4):Pages 181-196
Department of Wildlife Conservation,
No: 811/A, Jayanthipura,