Abstract

Introduction: The endemic fishes of the ancient lakes of Sulawesi are under increasing threat. Objective: To evaluate the data and information available from a holistic management perspective and to formulate measures to conserve the endemic ricefish Oryzias nigrimas in Poso Lake, Indonesia. Methods: Collection of primary data from three stations around Lake Poso and literature study. Results: Threats to O. nigrimas include habitat degradation and loss, introduced alien species, and exploitation as a locally important food fish. Options to promote sustainable fisheries management include spatial and temporal limitations to minimise catch of gravid or brooding fish. Habitat protection should include measures to minimise impacts from activities which can reduce water quality and disturb or kill aquatic vegetation. Conclusion: Measures to prevent further O. nigrimas population decline are considered urgent and further research is recommended to fill identified knowledge gaps. Ex-situ conservation, including the development of captive breeding, could also contribute to a holistic O. nigrimas conservation strategy.

Keywords: endemism, lacustrine, Oryziinae, black buntingi, invasive species, light fishing