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Ornamental fish conservation in the flood plain wetlands of lower Brahmaputra Basin

Tarali Kalita and Kamala Deka

In lower Brahmaputra basin the flood plain wetlands are one of the most productive ecosystem of Assam. The weed infested, shallow and nutritionally rich habitats offer a variety of microhabitats for many colorful ornamental fishes. Of these, Badis badis, Botia dario, Esomus dandricus, Chaca Chaca, Chana barca, Nandus nandus, Chanda species etc. are widely acclaimed species and fetches high prices in overseas market. As such these fishes have been taken away by the traders and the entire demand of export met through wild collection. The ornamental fish population are decreasing gradually in the wetlands of Assam due to unsustainable exploitation, habitat degradation and growing human interventions on wetlands. The present communication highlights the current conservation status and diversity of ornamental fishes in the beels of lower Brahmaputra Basin and also suggests some measures for conservation of the ornamental fishes.