Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 15 August 2010





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Survey uncovers rare fish

A random freshwater fish survey carried out by the Wildlife Conservation Society of Galle (WCSG) has uncovered a rare fish known as the Fairy Rasbora, (scientific name: Rasboroides nigromarginata). This rare species was considered nearly extinct as it was found after 53 years.

According to President of the WCSG Madura de Silva, the fish species was thriving in the area of Athwaltota. He said, “We consulted renowned fish scientist Rohan Pethiyagoda who identified the fish as Rasboroides nigromarginata. It is just two centimetres long and was first described in 1957 by H. Meinken, a German scientist, who received some specimens through the ornamental fish trade.”

He said, “Although he knew it was from Sri Lanka, he had no idea where exactly the original population was, and the species has remained a mystery until we discovered it recently. However, Athwaltota is one of the few water bodies that sustain plenty of endemic and endangered species. “We can advise and create awareness about protecting this area, but it’s up to the authorities to declare these areas as protected reserves.

“Key environmental authorities like the Department of Wildlife Conservation, Central Environmental Authority and Ministry of Environment have some of the strictest laws, but they should be implemented to make sure that people realise the value of nature conservation.”


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