Urgent actions for the conservation of the goliath catfish (dorado)
There are good reasons to worry about the conservation status of the Bolivian Amazon fish. In the last months, FAUNAGUA identified a ¨new¨ threat: the hydroelectric dams which have been constructed betweten 2009 and 2015 in the middle Madeira river basin in Brazil. During the First Bolivian Ichthyology Congress, which took place in Cochabamba, Bolivia, in november 2017, the researcher Leslie Cordova sent a first alarm to the decision makers (see the congress video: https://youtu.be/fj7I2VJ6uyY).
The dams have their first victim. They do not permit passage of the goliath catfish Brachyplatystoma rousseauxii-, maratonic migrating catfish, undertaking movements of more than 4 000 km to spawn in Bolivian headwaters of the Amazon. The dam impact is that significant that the populations of this species 1600 km upstream of the dams are now in trouble and close to extinction (see a recent article in https://bit.ly/2VOGxnY). We will inform you soon about new publications on the issue. Seven Bolivian ichthyologists, supported by WWF, evaluated the conservation status of the dorado, using criteria of MEGA and UICN, and proposed to change the status to ¨in critical danger of extinction (CR)¨ (their article is in press in RBECA: https://bit.ly/2Fo4cH2). A Policy Brief with recommendations for the conservation of dorado, marathon runner number one, was published. It was written by an international team of experts, fishers and journalists and is available in english, portuguese and spanish. The Brief can be downloaded from the FAUNAGUA webpage (https://bit.ly/2HbA0AN).