Freshwater Matters june2013


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Freshwater Matters from the FBA - June 2013

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Freshwater Matters june2013

  1. 1. Freshwater MattersWhat’s happening at the FBA?Clear Waters Oral History ProjectThe new website for the FBA Clear Waters Oral History Project has been launched.The Heritage Lottery Fund is funding the Clear Waters project which aims tocollect memories and stories from local people living and working by the water,anglers and sport fishermen, FBA former staff and members and people involvedin lake recreation. The project will look back 50-60 years to discover the changesthat have occurred in the Lake District, focusing on Windermere and its catchmentin particular. To find out more and to get involved please see the new issue of Inlands Waters now publishedThe latest issue of Inland Waters – Journal of the International Society of Limnology(Vol 3(2)) has now been published, concluding the series of papers on a specialtheme of Lake Simcoe, Canada (started in the previous issue). A list of contentsand abstracts can be viewed online at: Full-text articles can be downloaded by subscribersand SIL members. If you do not currently subscribe or are not a SIL memberand wish to have access to the journal, please either take out an individualsubscription (complete the subscription leaflet at and return tothe SIL Business Services Coordinator) or recommend the journal to your libraryat Announcement- Opening Doors: Scientific seminars for youngresearchers, workshop on “The ecology of inland waters”The British Council in Spain in collaboration with the Spanish Council for ScientificResearch is organising a series of scientific workshops to provide opportunitiesfor researchers from the UK and Spain to meet face-to-face for the exchange ofideas, knowledge and information on priority topics and to explore future areasof research and collaboration. The workshop is being held in Estación Biológica deDoñana (Huelva, Spain), between the 13-17thOctober 2013. For more informationand to download a flyer and application form please see 2013Freshwater Matters is a monthly electronic bulletin of the most recentfreshwater news from around the world, compiled by the Freshwater BiologicalAssociation (FBA). It includes updates of what is happening at the FBA and waysto get involved.ContentsWhat’s happening at the FBA?This month’s articlesState of nature stocktake shows worrying declineHumanity’s access to fresh water in peril, conference of 500 water scientistssaysBears that have no fish to eat baby elk insteadFrog once imported for pregnancy testing brought deadly amphibian diseaseto U.S.Zoo seeks mate for last surviving ‘gorgeously ugly’ fishAmphibians living close to farm fields are more resistant to commoninsecticidesGetting to the bottom of why guppies jumpSun pipes help fish swim to breeding groundThinking ‘big’ may not be best approach to saving large-river fishRebirth of lake sturgeon
  2. 2. This month’s articlesState of nature stocktake shows worrying declineA report compiled by 25 wildlife organisations across the UK has revealed that60% of animal and plant species have declined over the last 50 years. Amongstothers, the report highlights that losses of the European eel have been so great itis now threatened with global extinction, and that despite intensive conservationefforts, breeding populations of natterjack toads have remained static.’s access to fresh water in peril, conference of 500 waterscientists says A global summit of 500 of the world’s leading water scientists issued a starkmessage: within two generations the majority of people on Earth will ‘be livingunder the handicap of severe pressure on fresh water’. A report, titled ‘TheBonn Declaration’, considers that the problems are largely self-inflicted, entirelyavoidable and outlines steps that society must take to address them over thecoming years. Bears that have no fish to eat baby elk insteadResearch published in Nature this month has shown that the illegal introduction oflake trout into Yellowstone Lake has had a knock-on effect for elk numbers. Laketrout are voracious predators and have caused a precipitous decline in cutthroattrout in the lake. In turn this has led to fewer fish being available for grizzly bearpopulations who have turned to eating baby elk. The authors report that thisswitch in feeding has reduced the elk population growth rate by as much as 11 %. once imported for pregnancy testing brought deadly amphibiandisease to U.S.According to a new study published today in the journal PLOS ONE, African frogs,originally imported into the U.S. for pregnancy tests, may have been the sourceof the harmful Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis or Bd fungus which has led to thedecline or extinction of over 200 frog species globally. seeks mate for last surviving ‘gorgeously ugly’ fishLondon Zoo is appealing to fish keepers around the world to help with the searchfor a mate for a critically endangered species in their collection. The Mangaraharacichlid (Ptychochromis insolitus) is extinct in its native Madagascar and the threeheld in captivity are all male. The final hope for the species is that a privatecollector has a suitable mate somewhere in the world. living close to farm fields are more resistant to commoninsecticidesA study published this month in Evolutionary Applications suggests thatamphibians living close to agricultural fields have become resistant to commonlyused insecticides. The mechanism of this resistance is such that it may conferbenefits to the amphibian even when exposed to new insecticides. to the bottom of why guppies jumpThe mystery of why guppies jump may have been solved according to newresearch published this month in PLOS ONE. Unlike other fish the guppy doesnot jump as an escape mechanism or as an adaption for hunting. Instead theresearch, suggests that guppies developed the habit of jumping as a way ofdispersing in the environment to colonise new habitats. pipes help fish swim to breeding groundThe Environment Agency has installed a series of glass domes to allow sunlight to
  3. 3. reach a river that flows through a tunnel in Cumbria, UK. By providing a gradedtransition from light to dark the domes encourage salmon and sea trout to swimup the tunnel to reach their spawning grounds. ‘big’ may not be best approach to saving large-river fishTargeting conservation effort at major tributaries could represent the bestconservation strategy for large-river specialist fish according to work published inFrontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Traditionally conservation efforts havefocussed on restoring original habitat, however the work suggests that focussingon tributaries could return more ‘bang for the buck’ in terms of protecting species. of lake sturgeonNational Geographic reports from a captive breeding rearing facility in Michigan onefforts to help the largest fish found in North America. Once common throughoutthe area, numbers of lake sturgeon have plummeted over the last few centuriesas pollution, habitat loss and overfishing have taken their toll. Now scientists andvolunteers are trying to give young fish a helping hand to aid recovery. forward this bulletin to any of your colleagues who may beinterested!