Mahaseer Research and Conservation in Bhutan

mahaseer-sizedThe Mahaseer Conservation Project, a joint effort with World Wildlife Fund Bhutan and Bhutan’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, is making great strides in understanding Golden Mahaseer migrations, including where they overwinter, where are theirpossible spawning locations, and where these fish go during the monsoon season.

The first research expedition occurred in March–April of 2015, and since then there have been six field expeditions to tag fish and download data from the receiver array. For the initial study, we constructed 11 radio receiver stations along the MangdeChu and DangmeChu and Manas rivers. We have since expanded our radio-telemetry array as we have found that Mahaseer move far and fast during the summer rainy season.

We now have a total of 84 Golden and Chocolate Mahaseer tagged in the Manas watershed, and we are thrilled to report that most of the tagged fish have been detected. Our tagged Golden Mahaseer are constantly on the move! Some fish have repeatable patterns over relatively restricted areas, others have long-range movements, often swimming 50km in a 48-hour period.

A summary report of the project finds will be released by Bhutan’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forests in late spring of 2017. In the meantime, you can read more about the study on our project page.

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