Indawgyi Lake boasts of 4 fish species, not recorded yet in marine science, 2 world’s rarest species

Intawgyi EDMH
There are 95 fish species in the Indawgyi Lake and its basin area including four species of fish that have not yet been recorded in marine science. Two rare fish species – Microphis Dunckeris and Syngnathidae (pipefish) that are only endemic to Indawgyi Lake are inhabiting there. Photo: Ka Nu

Indawgyi Lake in Mohnyin Township of Kachin State, the largest freshwater lake in Myanmar, designated as the ASEAN Heritage Park and Ramsar Site, is home to four species of fish that have not yet been recorded in marine science and two of the world’s rarest fish species.
The lake covers 314.67 square feet and is conserved as a wildlife sanctuary by the Forest Department, and the department works together with FFI to collect the data of fish species and water quality of the lake.
As it is a biological area where the migratory birds annually move there and due to the high population of various fish species, the quality of the lake plays a key role and so the officials conduct laboratory tests on the water at a university of Germany together with FFI.
“We test the water quality every year whether the quality becomes worse or better or normal together with FFI. We send the water to the university of Germany for lab tests. They come and explain the results here. Now, they cannot do such doing due to the outbreak of COVID-19. We have been working with them for three years. Since 2016, the quality of the lake is not significantly low but there is a few changes. Moreover, four Botia species which have not yet been recorded in marine science and other two fish species can be seen in Indawgyi Lake and so it is such a pride in Indawgyi Ramsar Site,” said U Maung Win, head of Indawgyi Wildlife Sanctuary.
Unlike the Innlay Lake, the people do not live in the Indawgyi area and so it does not significantly affect the environment and quality of the lake and it becomes one of the eight Ramsar sites of Myanmar where the migratory birds inhabit most. The plenty of fish species in the lake lure resident birds and migratory birds and the good water quality creates a place where migratory birds and rare fish species to reproduce.
There are 95 fish species in the Indawgyi Lake and its basin area including four species of fish that have not yet been recorded in marine science. Two rare fish species – Microphis Dunckeris and Syngnathidae (pipefish) that are only endemic to Indawgyi Lake are inhabiting there.
These six species are the most valuable ones as they can be seen only at the Indawgyi Lake in the world. The students from Norway and Germany study the fish species scientifically and collect data and such measures support the lake.
Conserving animals that live both in water and land and environment as a national duty can improve the rural socio-economic status and the nature-based tourism industry. — Nyein Thu (MNA)/GNLM

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