Biotope Aquarium 101: An authentic Western Ghats biotope for the endangered Zebra Loach

Jeroen Vanhooren Biotope, Conservation, Uncategorised 3 Comments

Koyna River is one of the five Indian rivers which find their source at the Pachaganga Temple in Mahabaleshwar within the Sahyadri mountain range (also known as the Western Ghats); they’re also home to one of India’s few evergreen forests. This range forms a barrier to the Deccan Plateau for the monsoon winds and as the clouds are forced to rise when they meet the mountains, this leads to large amounts of rain fall, particularly during the rainy season (June till September) and give rise to the formation of rainforests. The area is known as one of the most biodiverse places …

Current status of the Mediterranean Killifish (Aphanius fasciatus) in Malta | A Complex Conservation Question

Chris Englezou Conservation 2 Comments

Between the 21st-26th March 2017 I had the opportunity to visit each of five known localities for the Mediterranean Killifish Aphanius fasciatus on the island of Malta. The Killifish is locally known as “Buzaqq” and has historically inhabited brackish to hypersaline habitats at Marsa, Marsaxlokk, Marsaskala, Salini and Għadira. Salini The population at Salini are the only remaining natural population still residing in their natural habitat, but this habitat has been heavily altered since it was constructed into a large salt pan area by the knights of St John in the 16th century. It is still maintained to this day for …

The birth of the wild aquarium | a tool for conservation

Chris Englezou Biotope, Conservation, Uncategorised 1 Comment

Almost five years ago, artist and river explorer Ivan Mikolji uploaded a video to the infamous video sharing site Youtube which would change the direction of the aquarium hobby forever, sparking a new wave of interest in nature and natural aquarium fishkeeping.   To an outsider, a non-fish-keeper, the “Wild Aquarium” series may initially come across as the work of an outlandish artist or an eccentric and lateral interpretation of a fish tank that they may deem unnecessary or just confusing. But the truth of the matter is that behind the creativity, the artistry and the millions of internet views… is …

potamon freshwater crab malta

An Endangered Freshwater Crab in Malta | Potamon fluviatile lanfrancoi

Chris Englezou Conservation 1 Comment

Potamon fluviatile lanfrancoi is definitely not the short name for the Maltese freshwater crab. In Maltese language it is referred to as Qabru and was originally described from seven localities across Malta and Gozo islands by D. Capolongo and J. L. Cilia in 1990.  Ten years later the subspecies status was revised in a publication by Brandis et al and the genus Potamon was split into four subgenera: Potamon, Eutelphusa, Pontipotamon and Orientopotamon.  The Maltese crab is currently identified as Potamon (Eutelphusa) fluviatile although revocation of the subspecies status is not widely accepted in Malta since the endemism of the “subspecies” to …

Searching for the Cypriot Killifish (Aphanius cf. fasciatus) PART 2

Chris Englezou Biotope, Conservation 2 Comments

Our first trip to investigate the biotopes, behaviour and distribution of the Cypriot killifish, Aphanius cf fasciatus yielded some interesting results and outlined the serious environmental pressures being placed upon Aphanius cf fasciatus in Cyprus. It brought to light the bleek outlook for the future of this potentially unique species of native Cypriot fish. On the 31.07.14, Christodoulos and I returned to Akrotiri to examine the individual sites at this location where Aphanius can be found. Areas of particular interest on this day were the coastal lagoons located at the military perimeter. The largest lagoon (shown above) nicknamed “Stinky Pond” …

The history of Salaria fluviatilis in Cyprus

Chris Englezou Conservation, Fish History Leave a Comment

Roland L. N. Michell was a British National who lived on the island of Cyprus periodically in the early 1900’s, he was not an ichthyologist nor was he a naturalist, his interest was mainly in ethnography but yet he must have been somewhat enamoured with the wildlife of Cyprus because not only did he collect the first examples ever recorded in Cyprus of Salaria fluviatilis, the freshwater ‘Blenny’, he also seems to have been the only person to ever have done so, and it took him 4-5 years before he succeeded! Michell collected his specimens from less than a handful …

Biodiversity of the Kryos River, Cyprus

Chris Englezou Biotope, Conservation Leave a Comment

It was 05/08/2012 and our first stop location on the way to our destination was the Kouris Dam, it is situated at approximately 250m above sea level and is fed by three tributaries, the rivers Kouris, Limnatis and Kryos, the latter of which was of particular interest this day; water leaves the dam via the consolidated Kouris river. During this trip we had set out to first explore the river ‘Kryos’ which in Greek language translates into ”Cold’; although the temperature of the water there was a reasonable 27.9°C in most places. Passing the immense Kouris dam itself and taking …