IUCN Species of the Day: Denison’s Barb


The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(tm)

Photo credit: Gerry Verrier


Denison’s Barb, Puntius denisonii, is listed as ‘VULNERABLE’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM. This attractive freshwater fish is endemic to the Western Ghats, India, and is one of the most popular ornamental fishes in international trade.

Owing to its popularity, Denison’s Barb has been exploited at unsustainable levels since it was first exported from India in 1996. In the absence of catch limits, the population has decreased at an alarming rate of around 70 percent in recent years, and consequently the species now has a highly fragmented distribution, and may occur in as few as four rivers. The species’ ability to recover from this exploitation may be limited by low genetic diversity and a sex ratio highly skewed towards males.

The main priority for this species is to limit catch efforts in local fisheries and develop sustainable harvesting methods. Various management plans also need to be explored, including no-take zones and protected areas, while captive-breeding stocks are also being established, which could potentially reduce the impact of trade on wild populations.


Geographic Range of the Denison’s Barb

Credit: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™


To learn more about the Denison’s Barb, click here.  Or visit the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ by clicking their logo below.

To learn more about the Bush Warriors “Species of the Day” feature, please click here and read up on our initiative to raise awareness about the loss of earth’s biodiversity.

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