Invasion of the Neotropical and Nearctic fishes to Iran

Hamid Reza ESMAEILI, Mojtaba MASOUDI, Mohammad AMINI CHERMAHINI, Amir Hossein ESMAEILI, Fatah ZAREI, Mehrgan EBRAHIMI

Abstract

Iran harbors a native and highly endemic inland ichthyofauna which is being threatened by an increasing number of exotic fishes receiving from different geographic realms including the Neotropical and Nearctic regions. Here, the Neotropical and Nearctic fish elements within the Iranian freshwater ecosystems, including 7 species belonging to 6 genera and 4 families, are listed, their distribution ranges are given, new records for Poecilia latipinna (Poeciliidae) are documented and approaches to future research and management strategies are suggested. Based on presented data, the eastern mosquitofish, Gambusia holbrooki has a wide distribution range while the alligator gar, Atractosteus spatula and red-bellied pacu, Piaractus brachypomus have been restricted to one locality in the Tigris River drainages. Till date, all introduced species, except Atractosteus spatula and Piaractus brachypomus, have established breeding populations and act as invasive species. Control of malaria and ornamental purposes, are the main reasons for these introductions.

Keywords

Freshwater fish, Middle East, Biodiversity, Alien Species.

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References

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