The fish fauna of the Kundelungu National Park (DR Congo): diversity, ecology, conservation and sustainable management
The Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Burundi
MetadataShow full item record
Created in 1970, the Kundelungu National Park (KNP) includes: (1) a Core Zone (2200 km²) situated on the highly elevated Kundelungu plateau (altitude ±1300-1700m) with multiple springs and headwaters, the majority of which flow West (Lufira basin), while some flow East (Luapula basin); and (2) a Buffer Zone (5300 km²), situated downstream of the eastern edge of the Kundelungu plateau and crossed by the Lufira River. Sampling surveys undertaken between 1938 and 1960 in the buffer zone revealed 70 species distributed over 15 families with the Cyprinidae (21 species), Cichlidae (10 species), Mochokidae (7 species) and Clariidae (5 species) being the most species rich. Except for the Luanza River, situated on the eastern side of the Kundelungu plateau, and intensively studied by Malaisse between 1965-1968, the Core Zone remains under-explored. His collections contain an impoverished fish fauna of only four families and six species: Kneriidae (Kneria wittei); Cyprinidae ('Barbus' motebensis and 'Barbus' neefi); Amphiliidae (Amphilius uranoscopus and Amphilius sp.); and Clariidae (Clarias theodorae). A recent survey (2012) within the PRODEPAAK project (CTB/BTC), of two main rivers situated within the Core Zone [the Lofoi and its tributary Fibila (western part) and the Lutshipuka and its tributary Mansansa (eastern part of the plateau)] revealed the presence of the same four families : (1) Kneriidae (Kneria spp.) and (2) Cyprinidae ('Barbus' cf.motebensis) present in both regions; (3) Amphiliidae (Amphilius spp.) in the eastern region only; and (4) Clariidae (Clarias/Clariallabes sp. "kundelungu "), a possibly new species for science, very abundant in the western but absent in the eastern region. Because of the geographic isolation of the rivers of the Kundelungu plateau, we suspect the region to harbour a special fish fauna that upon further exploration, may be found to include more local endemics.
CitationAbwe, E.; Chocha, A.M.; Kasongoilunga, K.M.; Snoeks, J.; Vreven, E. (2013). The fish fauna of the Kundelungu National Park (DR Congo): diversity, ecology, conservation and sustainable management. , Fifth International Conference of the Pan African Fish and Fisheries Association (PAFFA5), The Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Burundi,