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Tag archives for freshwater species of the week

Iconic Ganges River Dolphin: Freshwater Species of the Week

  Conservation India reports that an endangered Ganges river dolphin (or Gangetic dolphin, Platanista gangetica gangetica), was killed by villagers in Assam this week. A fishmonger was seen selling the marine mammal’s meat at a roadside market in Lezai-Kalakhowa. The Ganges river dolphin is the national aquatic animal of India. It lives in the freshwater of the Ganges…

Giant Dobsonflies: Freshwater Species of the Week

A couple of months ago, I went camping in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Not exactly roughing it, I stayed at a campground with such amenities as a pancake house, a giant trampoline, and a pool. One evening, while relaxing in the pool, enjoying the views of the surrounding hills, I got a start. A giant…

Missing “Rain Frog” Resurfaces in Honduras: Freshwater Species of the Week

In 2008, National Geographic Young Explorer Jonathan Kolby re-discovered a frog species endemic to Honduras that had been declared extinct. The amphibian had vanished mysteriously in the mid 1980s. Now, the Australia-based Kolby told us via email, “I’ve been searching for more proof of its existence every year since, and finally found a second one a…

Hellbenders Reintroduced in New York: Freshwater Species of the Week

The Eastern hellbender–also called a snot otter, devil dog, mud dog, grampus, or Allegheny alligator–is one of the world’s largest species of salamander. The animal, formally Cryptobranchus alleganiensis, has been declining and is officially listed as “near threatened” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Much larger than any other salamanders in their range, hellbenders…

Live Bear and Salmon Cams Bring Nature Up Close

Nature programs often show the annual congregation of bears at streams during salmon runs, but few people get to actually see them up close. Now, National Geographic partner Explore.org offers Internet users an intimate look at this feeding frenzy (above, or view cam here). The cam shows live footage from Alaska’s Brooks River in Katmai…

Tiny New Catfish Species: Freshwater Species of the Week

We’ve written before in Water Currents how scientists project that there are many species of freshwater fish yet to be described. Now, scientists have published a report in the journal Zookeys about a new species of catfish, one so tiny that it is among the smallest in the group. Scientists found it in the waters of Rio…

Tiny Transmitters for Mountain Yellow-Legged Frogs: Freshwater Species of the Week

On Wednesday, Frank Santana, a researcher at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, released 65 froglets into a Southern California creek. The small amphibians represent new hope for an endangered species, the mountain yellow-legged frog. (We wrote about how specimens of this frog were refrigerated for preservation in 2010, part of the restoration…

Rebirth of Lake Sturgeon: Freshwater Species of the Week

At a fish-rearing facility near Michigan‘s Kalamazoo River, I’m peering inside a big, water-filled tub at lake sturgeon eggs no bigger than BB pellets. Someday these will grow into the biggest fish in North America, but for now, they’re the precious cargo of a state program to bring these freshwater giants back to their native…

Newly Discovered Choctaw Bass: Freshwater Species of the Week

Bass fishing in the American Southeast may have just gotten a little bit more complicated. According to a release filed this week, biologists from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) would like to name a new species of black bass, the Choctaw bass, or Micropterus haiaka.  In 2007, FWC scientists found an unusual DNA…

New Zealand Longfin Eels: Freshwater Species of the Week

New Zealand’s large, slow-growing longfin eels (Anguilla dieffenbachia) are on a “slow path to extinction,” according to an April report by the parliamentary commissioner for the environment. The commissioner has now been joined by a number of scientists in calling for a ban on fishing of the eels, since their numbers have been declining in…

The Turtle and the Town: Freshwater Species of the Week

  The northern map turtle (Graptemys geographica) is a relatively large aquatic turtle that is native to North America. It is named for the lines on its shell, which resemble the contour lines on a map. Map turtles show extreme sexual size dimorphism, which means the genders grow to different sizes. Northern male map turtles…

(Newly Re-described) Arapaima: Freshwater Species of the Week

An iconic freshwater fish of tropical South America, the arapaima is a massive, slender beast that can grow up to 10 feet (3 meters) long and weigh 440 pounds (200 kilograms). It is known as the pirarucu in Brazil and the paiche in the western Amazon, and is one of the largest freshwater fish in…

Four Two-Headed Creatures Defy the Odds

We recently covered a two-headed bull shark fetus that was found by a fisherman and described by scientists in a journal. That story got more than ninety comments and more than four thousand Facebook likes, and it got us thinking about what other two-headed creatures might have been found. So in lieu of this week’s…

Philippine Freshwater Crocodiles: Freshwater Species of the Week

This month 36 Philippine freshwater crocodiles were introduced into the wild on Siargao Island, in an effort to bolster the population of this endangered reptile. The Philippine freshwater crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis), also called the Mindoro crocodile, is found only in the Philippines. The Philippine crocodile shares the island chain with the much more common Indo-Pacific crocodile or saltwater…

American Paddlefish: Freshwater Species of the Week

While one could make a case that pigs should be this week’s Freshwater Species of the Week, since they have turned up by the thousands in a Chinese river, I decided to focus my attention a bit closer to home. Today, authorities announced that eight men have been indicted for alleged trafficking in American paddlefish…