Invasive species threatens Sulawesi shrimp

I regret to inform that it has been reported by Ichthyologist Fabian Herder (University of Bonn) that an invasive fish species is threatening shrimp populations in the ancient Sulawesi lakes. It was apparently introduced for fishing purposes.

Jaguar cichlid (photo does not belong to me)

Above is a photograph of the invasive species; the Jaguar cichlid, Parachromis managuensis. This species thrives in the water conditions of the Sulawesi lakes, and grows to over half a metre in length, and is unfortunately highly predatory. It is likely that this fish will greatly upset the ecology of the lakes, especially as it has no natural predators. Juveniles of this species prowl the shallow waters of lakes that the shrimp tend occupy, hunting at both day and night.

A species that may be lost from the wild (Photo by Chris Lukhaup)

Sadly this is not the only introduced species in Sulawesi. For example, it is reported that the striped snakehead Channa striata has been released into Lake Matano, and has since become established.

It seems these unique species of shrimp will soon no longer exist outside aquaria. It is now more vital than ever that we keep and breed these animals in captivity, not only to preserve the species, but also in preparation for any attempted reintroductions. However there are further complications with this option, and I will make post about this soon…

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