Tuesday, 8 January 2013

UK Mini Fish - Why our smaller freshwater species are in decline?

January 2013. Conservation efforts for freshwater fishes tend to be concerned with large, often migratory, ‘flagship' species such as salmon, trout, and sturgeon, but a new project funded by National Geographic and backed by the United Kingdom Environment Agency, among others, aims to catalogue populations of the smaller groups commonly referred to as ‘tiddlers'.

Higher animals such as kingfishers and otters prey on them, for example, and their presence is often acknowledged as an indicator of the overall health of a habitat since they mostly inhabit pristine environments.

Brainchild of wildlife photographer and angler Jack Perks, the mini fish survey therefore hopes to establish patterns of distribution and abundance of these fishes throughout the country via an online form designed to be filled in by members of the public.

The project has Facebook and Twitter accounts, but what's really needed in order for it to work is public involvement in the survey itself, so if you want to help the best thing to do is simply get involved!

Can you help survey these fish?
If you live close to a river, stream, canal, pond or lake in the UK get out there, have a poke around with a net, lay a minnow or bottle trap overnight, or even follow Jack's lead and don a wetsuit-snorkel combo to record out what inhabits your neighbourhood waters.

Record your sightings
If you have seen any of these fish, please record your sightings here

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