From a Correspondent
Haflong, Jan 22: The biodiversity conservation fraternity, Tour AD and people of the district have appealed to all persons visiting the Dilaima River and waterfalls not to use nets or other unethical methods to catch or poison the last stock of coldwater river fish and help protect the last coldwater river fish breeding area left in Dima Hasao.
They said that Dilaima River is one of the few surviving biodiversity hotspots left in the district, inhabited by the last surviving coldwater river fish stock. Maybe an undiscovered coldwater river fish species or an unknown aquatic organism might still be left in the depths of the Dilaima River. They expressed concern over the fact that unethical methods to catch or poison might lead a species to extinction.
A coldwater fish survey was conducted in the year 2012 by SK Gupta, a coldwater fish research scientist from DCFR (Directorate of Coldwater Fisheries Research - Uttarakandh), with active support from Spectrum (NGO) under the guidance of Sarbojit Thaosen, Assistant Professor of Zoology, Haflong Government College. It was during that research that they came to know from the research scientist about the dwindling coldwater river fish diversity in the river ecosystem of the district. Because of poisoning of rivers with insecticides, pesticides and bleaching powder, increase in the temperature of the rivers and other human-induced factors, the coldwater iver fish species was dwindling over the last few years at an alarming rate. Only a few rivers like Dilaima, due to its topography, cold water temperature and less human interference, still sustains the coldwater river fish species stock.
Sarbajit Thaosen said garra species from that river had been described recently and was accepted as a new species. The me of the new species is Garra clavirostris. Also, there are about 10 unidentified specimens waiting to be described, they were collected from different sites of Diyung, Mahur and Jatinga rivers. So, it is also equally important to conserve these rivers of the district because no one has explored them till date. “Let’s all come together to conserve the rivers of our district by whatever means possible,” he said.