Aug 13, Colombo: In an effort preserve endangered species of freshwater fish in Sri Lanka, the National Zoological Gardens has taken steps to breed a freshwater fish that is near extinction.
The tropical freshwater fish, commonly called "Dankuda Pethiya" in Sinhala and Blotched Filamented Barb in English (Dawkinsia Srilankensis), will be bred at Dehiwala National Zoo.
Dawkinsia Srilankensis is distinct among other Dawkinsia species due to vertical lines in its body from the front to back and ray fins. The fish is about 9 to 10 cm long.
This fish variety is strictly restricted to Kalu Ganga in the Eastern slopes of Knuckles World Heritage Site. The fish populations are in imminent danger of extinction due to increased use of agrochemicals during the last few years.
The veterinary scientists of the Zoological Department have so far bred over 1,000 of the species. The scientists are now studying the feasibility of releasing the fish into natural habitat.