31 janvier 2023

DRC: The Congo River has new fish species

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Clarias Monsembulai, a new species of fish, has been found in the Congo River's tributaries, namely in and around Salonga National Park. This fish was given the name "Monsembulai" in honor of the scientist who found it, Dr. Raoul Monsembula, a biology professor at the University of Kinshasa. The scientist who gathered the new species' type series advocated for the preservation of the Congo Basin forest because of its ecological diversity.

The researcher was quoted in a Monday, September 19 press release from Greenpeace Africa as saying, "The ecological richness of the Congo Basin rainforest is beyond our imagination, thus it is hard to understand how rapidly humans are killing it."  

To prevent the extinction of all these known and unknown species, he continued, "African scientists today must also be African activists. For me, nature research is an essential component of the campaign to better the lives of indigenous peoples, local communities, and all of us who depend on nature. A class of air-breathing catfish called Clarias includes the Clarias Monsembulai.

With 60 species now recognized, it is found throughout tropical Asia and Africa. A total of 31 of these species are exclusive to freshwater in Africa. It joins more than 128 species of fish that have already been documented in Salonga National Park, the biggest rainforest reserve in Africa and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Oil exploitation operations, however, pose a danger to this protected region. Three of the 27 oil blocks that the government just put up for sale overlap with it.

 

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© Photo Credits : 123RP