Thursday, February 02, 2006

Extinct already?

I mentioned in my post on that the world's smallest vertebrate* that it was was threatened. It seems events have moved faster than anyone feared and it now seems that it could be already extinct. From the annotated budak

"I was supposed to study the behaviour of Paedocypris for my Research project in NUS.

JANUARY 2005 I visited North Selangor Peat Swamp (NSPSF) with Dr Tan in January 2005 to collect this fish. We visited all the sites that the fish had been previously collected. We could not catch a single fish. On top of that, of other peat swamp species, we caught fewer fish species than previous collections in NSPSF.

This may have been because of two reason, 1) The fish is seasonal, 2) North Selangor was in the process of being drained for agriculture, the disturbance may have caused the species to go extinct.

JULY 2005 I visited these same sites in July 2005. By this time the swamp was in worse condition. The streams were all nearly dry and overgrown with vegetation, we sampled here and again found no Paedocypris, and found even fewer fish species than we had in January.

OVERVIEW 50 species of fish have been collected from North Selangor Peat swamp forest (NSPSF), 20 of which can only survive in the acid water conditions of peat swamp forests, and a further 5 species restricted to NSPSF."


This is heatbreaking, it could have been extinct even before it was published.

This story illustrates the importance of World Wetlands Day which is today, the swamps of the world need your help! Via Pruned

* There is some dispute about who is the very smallest vertebrate it seems that Paedocypris may only be the smallest freshwater fish LINK


budak said...

Hi, I have posted my clarification on Pharyngula (

Lukas said...

Thanks, It's good to know that this little fish is not extinct. But sad that things are not looking very good for them.

It's interesting to learn that palm oil production is one of the threats to this species. The use of this common ingredient has effects that most people are probably unaware of.

budak said...

A third Paedocypris has been found!

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