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Endangered Batman river fish spotted in Turkiye to be protected

Endangered Batman river fish spotted in Turkiye to be protected
After groundbreaking rediscovery of critically endangered fish, Turkish researches continue study to protect species in southeastern province

By Muhittin Sandikci

RIZE, Turkiye (AA) - Researchers in southeastern Turkiye continue their work for protection of a critically endangered fish unseen by human eyes for nearly 50 years.

Turkish researchers Cuneyt Kaya, a biologist specializing in fisheries and Munevver Oral, a research fellow, at Turkiye's Recep Tayyip Erdogan University in black sea province Rize have been working on the loach (Paraschistura chrysicristinae), which is on the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and is one of the world’s 10 most wanted fish species.

Kaya told Anadolu Agency that he has been working in the region for 12 years for his thesis study over the fish fauna of the Tigris (Dicle) River.

"We've been always looking for this species (Batman River Loach)," he said, adding that they rediscovered the critically endangered fish at the Sason creeks of Batman river at the first day of the nine-day field work.

"Now, we know its habitat and population. From now on, we will identify the threats and continue to protect them."

He said that natural habitat of the Batman River loach is under serious threats, including drought and pollution.

Second step of their study is to protect the species, he stressed, explaining their initiatives, including meeting with local officials and NGOs.

He also thanked American actor Leonardo DiCaprio for sharing the news of the discovery, making it heard by wider audience.

Kaya said they are also trying to find another critically endangered fish, Leopard barbel, which was last seen ten years ago.

They also want to create awareness among the fisheries in the region, to make them recognize endangered species.

Meanwhile, Munevver Oral said they will upload gene data, the DNA sequence, of the species to GenBank very soon.

source: News Feed
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