International Journal of
Biodiversity and Conservation

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Biodivers. Conserv.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-243X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJBC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 653

Full Length Research Paper

Fish diversity of North East India, inclusive of the Himalayan and Indo Burma biodiversity hotspots zones: A checklist on their taxonomic status, economic importance, geographical distribution, present status and prevailing threats

Umesh C. Goswami*, Sudip K. Basistha, Dilip Bora, Konthoujam Shyamkumar, Bishnupriya Saikia and Kimneilam Changsan
Department of Zoology, Fish Biology and Fishery Sciences, DST-FIST and UGC-SAP Sponsored Department Centre for Aquaculture and Aquatic Resources Monitoring Centre, Biodiversity and Bioinformatics, Gauhati University, Guwahati 781014, Assam, India.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 27 June 2012
  •  Published: 31 December 2012



The paper lists 422 fish species from north east India, belonging to 133 genera and 38 families. The maximum diversity is observed in the family Cyprinidae, which is represented by 154 species. Families Anguillidae, Engraulidae, Chacidae, Aplocheilidae, Syngnathidae, Sciaenidae, Osphronemidae, Ophichthidae, Pristigastiridae and Tetraodontidae are represented by a single species each. The habitat, economic importance, distribution (within Northeast India) and threat criteria are listed. The names of the species are corrected after following the new nomenclature. The list includes plain, torrential and estuarine, as well as exotic species. The species are listed from findings of the documented references that have been known till December, 2011. The threats criteria have been finalised from the IUCN & NBFGR reports and physical verification of the habitat, in different seasons and the existing natural and anthropogenic hazards that prevail. It has been found that the fish diversity of these hotspots faces serious threats which would lead to a catastrophic loss of our biodiversity. Further, this survey shows that the north eastern region of India contains more than 62.81% of total freshwater fish available in the country, as against the 667 freshwater species reported. The findings provide 48 endangered, 69 near threatened, 103 vulnerable, 153 least concerned, 23 data deficient and 26 not evaluated species from the list. The different natural and anthropogenic threats are evaluated. The impact of the different threats and the present conservation status of the fish fauna from the north eastern region of India raises several questions regarding their sustainance as well as the need for a future environmental impact analysis.


Key words: Fish diversity, fish geography, fish conservation status, natural and anthropogenic hazards, digitized map of Himalayan and Indo- Burma biodiversity hotspots zone.