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Fartet re-introduction project

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Offline Matt

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« on: May 05, 2010, 13:54 PM »
On 28.04.10 the first batch of Aphanius iberus, known locally as 'fartet', were introduced to a man-made pool in the Río Llobregat nature reserve. The dual long-term aims are reduction of mosquito numbers and re-establishment of the fish in an area where they were once plentiful but now exist only in a single, Gambusia-infested location. If successful more pools will be excavated and stocked with fartet so a lot's riding on this first introduction. We'll return in a few weeks to check how they're doing so fingers-crossed until then! This project is a collaboration between various local departments and the Sociedad de Estudios Ictiológicos of which I'm a proud member.

TV3 turned up but were unable to use their cameras for fear of interference with the local airport's radar. :-(


Also present were representatives from the Consortium for Protection and Management of Natural Habitats in the Llobregat Delta, Mosquito Control Department and some others.


The fish - 25 young, captive-bred adults.


No-one present had seen a live specimen before so we explained a few things.



We also took a few photos of the fish.


Heading through the woods to the pool.


The surrounding area floods temporarily at certain times of year allowing mosquitos to breed in numbers. The hope is that the presence of fartet will help regulate them.


Here's the pool.


Observing the water. One pleasing difference to when we surveyed the site last year was the massive increase in invertebrate life which should provide a viable food source for the fish.


Roberto, founder of the project, testing salinity.


Adding water from the pool to the container to help acclimatise the fish.


The moment of truth!


Observing the fish in their new home. Woot!!! :-D


Discussing the best way to propagate eggs if necessary.


The second pool has already been excavated and we hope to introduce some fartet there later this year.


Later we went to try and collect a few wild specimens to add to the captive brood stock. This is the last remaining natural habitat in the Delta but the fartet is being heavily out-competed by Gambusia. Unless something drastic happens it will probably become extinct here in a few years. This is off-limits to the public, incidentally.


We only managed to collect one miserable male specimen among countless guppies from hell - a familiar story.


Other stuff from the day - orchids also grow naturally in parts of the Delta.


Young Mediterranean pond turtle, Mauremys leprosa.



Offline andyj

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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2010, 17:12 PM »
fascinating stuff Matt, congratulations on the breeding success...i know it can't be easy  :clapping: good luck with the project!

Andy

Offline Matt

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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2010, 23:18 PM »
Tomorrow is the second release day for 2010 and we'll be accompanied by a couple of local schools this time. Here's hoping the TV3 people bring a working camera this time as they've promised to show up again.

Offline nick

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« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2010, 00:09 AM »
Thanks for all the photos Matt. Good luck with the TV!
Nick
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