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Charaterization of the African sharptooth catfish (Clarias gariepinus) in the Ribeira River, State of São Paulo, Southeastern Brazil

Grant number: 16/16979-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2017
Effective date (End): December 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Applied Zoology
Principal researcher:Domingos Garrone Neto
Grantee:Ney Tamassia Neto
Home Institution: Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Registro. Registro , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The African catfish, Clarias gariepinus, is an exotic species in the Ribeira river basin. As observed in other Brazilian basins, the species is considered very strong and with great potential of invasion. While without natural predators in Brazil, the African catfish reproduces quickly and feeds on many native species, causing disturbances in the food chain. In the Ribeira river basin the African catfish was introduced from leaks of fish farms, found in many water bodies in the region. However, the impact of its introduction in the region are still poorly understood and its current distribution, including water bodies of several protected areas, is outdated. This fact reinforces the problem involving the creation of exotic fish without proper control in the state of São Paulo, especially in regions with high concentration of protected areas and with the presence of endemic species of fishes, such as the Ribeira Valley. Considering the growing concern of the authorities and research institutions to know the current status of alien species around the world and because the interaction between exotic and native species can occur disastrously, conducting research in the area is relevant. Taking into account that in the Ribeira River and its main tributaries was identified the creation of more than 30 exotic species of fish with high levels of escape and even cases of intentional introductions, information on the role played by non-native species become relevant to the management of these ecosystems. In this context, this study aims to know the current distribution, the way of life and the possible impacts of the African catfish on aquatic fauna in the area of the medium-low courses of the Ribeira River, aiming to support discussions regarding the management of the species in the basin. (AU)

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