Falkland Native Freshwater Fish

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The results of a project undertaken in December 2008 and January 2009 to survey the two native Falkland freshwater fish, Zebra trout and Falkland minnow, have now been published. This updates a study of ten years ago. The work was undertaken with support from Falklands Conservation.

Zebra tout populations were found in Lafonia, the south of West Falkland, and around Port Howard. The range of Brown trout appears to have expanded since 1999. Freshwater habitats where zebra trout were found were mostly in good condition.

The population of Zebra trout (Aplochiton zebra) has suffered a catastrophic decline since the introduction of Brown trout (Salmo trutta) to the Islands (from Chile and the UK between 1944 and 1962). This study reveals an increase in the range of the Brown trout further threatening the survival of the native fish. Brown trout move into areas occupied by Zebra trout, compete for the same food and predate on juvenile fish. Once Brown trout have invaded a catchment they are very difficult to remove. Controlling their spread is an urgent priority. A number of conservation measures are recommended including protection of river systems from further brown trout invasion.

Download Report

Freshwater Fish in the Falklands – Conservation of Native Zebra Trout
(1,630kb PDF)

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