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Preliminary fish survey of Lac Tseny in northwestern Madagascar

Author(s): Daudet Andriafidison | Richard K. B. Jenkins | Paul V. Loiselle | Tim McCaskie | Andrinajoro A. Rakotoarivelo | Justin Rahalambomanana | Tsilavina Ravelomanana | Noromalala Raminosoa | Aleksei Saunders

Journal: Madagascar Conservation & Development
ISSN 1662-2510

Volume: 6;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 83;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: damba | Sofia | wetland | conservation | turtle | Paretroplus spp. | Arius festinus | Sauvagella robusta | Glossogobius giuris

We surveyed the fish fauna of Lac Tseny, in the Sofia Region of northwestern Madagascar, during October 2010 by observing commercial catches and targeted netting of areas used by endemic species. We recorded seven native fish species at the lake, including three endemic cichlids, a herring and a catfish. We confirmed the continued survival of the Critically Endangered Paretroplus menarambo, as well as the presence of a Paretroplus taxon that may be new to science. The commercial fishery in the lake is sustained by introduced tilapiines and the native Savagella robusta. The three endemic cichlids (Paretroplus spp.) were not targeted by commercial fishermen, but when caught in small numbers were retained for domestic consumption. Submerged trees in the west of the lake restrict fishing with nets and probably provide important habitat for P. menarambo. Priority next steps at the lake include (i) additional surveys and biological studies of the endemic fish species and the Critically Endangered Madagascar big-headed turtle, Erymnochelys madagascariensis, (ii) clarification of the taxonomic status of Paretroplus cf. kieneri and, should it prove a new taxon, its formal scientific description, and (iii) continued engagement with fishing communities and authorities to promote practices that benefit livelihoods and the survival of threatened fish species.
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