Fish diversity and habitat ecology of Tel River, a tributary of Mahanadi River
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Keywords:Tel River, chthyofauna, Ecology, Conservation, India
Ichthyofaunal survey was conducted in Tel River, an important tributary of Mahanadi River to document the diversity and distribution of freshwater
fishes along with evaluation of the habitat characteristics. A total of 71 fish species belonging to 48 genera, 22 families and 8 orders were recorded from
the study area. Cypriniformes was found to be the most dominant order 53.5%), followed by Siluriformes (19.7%) and Perciformes (14.1%). It is of high concern
that some of the food fishes exploited by the local communities fall in "Near Threatened" or "Endangered" category of IUCN. Higher species richness and
diversity were observed at Belgaon and Kisinga in the midstream. Shannon-Weiner diversity index ranged between 2.33 and 3.705 indicating well-being of the river. Habitat and water quality parameters were documented and correlation analysis between the parameters was carried out. Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) was employed to understand the differential habitat preferences of biota and environmental variables and cyprinids were found to have a positive relationship with wetted area and channel width. Fish diversity can be periodically monitored to form basis for future conservation plans. The study would assist in formulating strategies for management of this riverine ecosystem and livelihood support of fisher communities.