Conservation Status of Fish Fauna in the Ivo River Basin Southeast, Nigeria
ASIEGBU Victoria Onyebuchi1, OYEDIRAN Ajiboye Gabriel2 and EZEKWE Ifeanyichukwu Clinton1,3*
1Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria
2Department of Fisheries Technology, Federal College of Agriculture, Ishiagu. Ebonyi State, Nigeria
3National Weather Forecasting and Climate Research Centre, Abuja
*Corresponding Author: EZEKWE Ifeanyichukwu Clinton, Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria and National Weather Forecasting and Climate Research Centre, Abuja.
November 27, 2020; Published: June 04, 2021
Ivo River Basin extends from the Aku stream, Abia State to Ivo River, Okpanku, Enugu State, Nigeria. It is exposed to several anthropogenic activities including aggregate and lead-zinc mining. These predisposes the aquatic environment and its fish fauna to management challenges. It is therefore important to investigate the conservation status of its fish fauna. Fish samples were collected from ten using purposefully selected sample sites using the gillnet and identification were done using standard guides. Fish trophic groups and conservation status were categorized according to International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Species diversity was determined with Shannon-Wiener’s index. Five fish families comprising seven fish species were encountered with highest abundance of 32 individuals in the Ivo Dam and none in Ikwo and Ehu streams. Highest Shannon-Weiner diversity of 1.60 was recorded in the Aku stream. Schilbe intermedius was the most abundant species particularly in the Ivo Dam. The only forager found in the aquatic system was the Oreochromis niloticus while the other six species were carnivores. Anaspodeglanis akiri and Neolabias powelli were also found and has been categorized as endangered and critically endangered species respectively. The low fish abundance, diversity and the dominance of carnivorous species over foragers as well as the presence of endangered species and critically endangered species are indicative that the fish feeding relationship was not in balance signifying a river basin experiencing ecological disturbance with a poor conservation status for foragers. Therefore, a sustainable management strategy urgently needs to be put in place to restore an equilibrium of fish population in the river basin.
Keywords: Conservation Status; Ecological Disturbance; Endangered Species; Fish-feeding Relationship; Fish Population
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