Ichthyofauna of Urmia basin: Taxonomic diversity, distribution and conservation

Hamid GHASEMI, Arash JOULADEH ROUDBAR, Soheil EAGDERI, Keivan ABBASI, Saber VATANDOUST, Hamid Reza ESMAEILI

Abstract

Fish biodiversity investigation in Urmia basin which is a part of Irano-Anatolian hot spot aimed to determine the state of fish in this endorheic basin. Based on the obtained results, freshwater fish species of the Urmia basin comprise 29 species in 25 genera, 7 families, 5 orders and one class. The most diverse order is the Cypriniformes with 23 species (79.31%) followed by Salmoniformes and Perciformes each with two species (2 species, 6.9%), Siluriformes and Cyprinodontiformes each with one species (1 species, 3.45%). The most diverse family is the Cyprinidae with 20 species (69%), Nemacheilidae (3 species, 10.3%), Salmonidae (2 species, 6.9%) followed by, Siluridae, Poeciliidae, Percidae and Gobiidae each with only one species (3.45 %). This basin comprises five endemic species to the basin itself (only found in Urmia basin, 17.24%) and 11 exotic species (37.93%). Zarrineh River had high species diversity and Sufi and Shahri Rivers had low species diversity. The fish composition and community structure of Urmia basin have been changed during the last few years due to (i) human-induced disturbance or anthropogenic activities including hydrological alteration, introduction of exotic species, over-fishing, unusual methods of fishing, rapid sedimentation, and land erosion and (ii) natural disturbance such as climate change which causes drought in this basin. Most of the native (including endemic) fishes of the Urmia basin have not been assessed for the IUCN Red List and some others have been considered as Least Concern or Data Deficient which is suggested to be re-assessed.

Keywords

Iran, Urmia Basin, Permanent River, Biodiversity, Fishes.

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References

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