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Ramganga river, a tributary of the Ganga, originates in the Pauri Garhwal district (Uttarakhand) and flows through the Jim Corbett National Park. The Park is a protected area for home to a wide variety of flora and fauna including the Mahseer fish.

Ramganga river, Corbett National Park. Image source: http://www.tigresetnature.fr

Mahseer is a freshwater fish listed as endangered by the National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources .   A complete list of endangered fish can be found in  this report. Not long ago, the Golden Mahseer was endangered due to illegal fishing and use of explosives to kill the fish. However, a program launched by conservationists to save the freshwater fish has resulted in an increase in their number. So much that villagers who once killed the fish, have now started a business dependent on the fish. They sell fishing kits and act as guides to tourists who come to the area for fishing.

Golden Mahseer. Image source: http://www.mahseerconservancy.org

The Mahseer reaches upto nine feet (2.74 metres)  in length and weighs as much as 54 kgs (119 pounds) They are also food for the tigers, leopards, and other animals. Conserving the Mahseer would also help save other endangered animals.

“I think it’s a long-term message. If you can save what used to be food … you would be conserving the most prized possessions, like the tigers and the leopards and the elephants,” Sumantha Ghosh, president of the Mahseer Conservancy, told Reuters TV.

Mahseer Conservancy is a non profit working on conservation issues in this area. Sustainable conservation efforts are a win-win situation for our biodiversity and us.

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