The ichtyofauna of the Upemba National Park (DR Congo): diversity, ecology, conservation and sustainable management
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The Upemba National Park (UNP), located in the Katanga province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), is drained by the basins of the lower Lufira and the Lualaba-Upemba, which flow together towards the northern edge of the park. Poll (1976) described 116 species, including 19 endemics, belonging to 24 different families from the area. However, the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) actually houses specimens of 193 nominal fish species from the UNP with the family of Cyprinidae being the most diversified with 45 species including 23 Barbus species, followed by the Mormyridae (24 species), Mochokidae (18 species), Cichlidae (16 species), Distichodontidae (14 species) and Alestiidae (11 species). A comparison of the ichthyofauna of the two basins shows that all families of the lower Lufira also exist in the Lualaba. However, Channidae, Citharinidae, Clupeidae, Eleotridae and Protopteridae occur in the Lualaba but have not been found in the Lufira. Of the 68 genera, 30 are common to both basins, 26 exist only in the Lualaba and 12 are specific to the Lufira. The ichthyofauna of the Lualaba-Upemba counts 132 species while there are 94 species listed for the lower Lufira; 45 species overlap between the two systems. However, our knowledge of this fish fauna remains poor. Indeed, several unidentified museum collections from the UNP are still available (RMCA and the IRSNB, Belgium) and only the north-eastern part of the UNP has been thoroughly explored. As part of a new project, we will revive the study of the ichthyofauna of the UNP. We will concentrate especially on the fishes of the Northern Kalule river and their ecology, and will attempt to formulate directives for the conservation and the sustainable management of the ichthyofauna of the UNP.
CitationKatemo, B.M.; Chocha, A.M.; Snoeks, J.; Vreven, E. (2013). The ichtyofauna of the Upemba National Park (DR Congo): diversity, ecology, conservation and sustainable management. , Fifth International Conference of the Pan African Fish and Fisheries Association (PAFFA5),