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Puntius Denisonii. Image Source: www.thehindu.com

India seems to be adding to its list of endangered and vulnerable animal species. The latest to join this list is Puntius Denisonii, a fish species endemic to the Kerala waters.

This species is endemic to four rivers – the Cheenkannipuzha (a major tributary of the Valapattanam river), Achankovil, Chaliyar, and near Mundakayam town) in Kerala.

Though the state government has banned fishing for this species, its habitat is declining. (It is also interesting that the fish is yet to be listed as per the National Wildlife Protection Act.)

The biodiversity of the Western Ghats is under threat owing to deforestation, agriculture, mining, hydroelectric projects, and urban expansion, all of which has a severe environmental impact on soil and water quality.

‘Bleeding Eyes’ , an ornamental fish, was a major revenue earner for the state, with each of them valued at Rs.1500 . Of late, these fish have been bred in captivity. Credit goes to the Chester Zoo and to two amateur Chennai-based individual fish lovers, Rabi Venkatesh and Murali, a success reported in The Hindu on October 16, 2008

Source: IUCN Red List

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