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Cauvery fish faces extinction threat due to pollution and sand mining

India's 'Humpback Mahseer' commonly known as the Cauvery fish is on the brink of extinction, says a recent study. The study conducted by Indian and British biologists has asserted that the 'Humpback Mahseer', a freshwater fish found only in India's Cauvery Basin is on the verge of extinction.

The study shows a severe drop in the population of the orange-finned fish because of pollution, sand mining and hydel power projects.

The study was published in the journal Endangered Species Research. According to the study, the fish is now so threatened that it may vanish within a generation.

To conduct the study, Rajeev Raghavan, a biologist specialising in freshwater fish at the Conservation Research Group at St Albert's College in Kerala and his associates from the Bournemouth University in the UK, used records maintained by three angling camps on the Cauvery as proxy indicators of the population of the Humpback Mahseer.

The scientists have been examining the ecology, taxonomy and conservation status of 17 species of Mahseer found in rivers throughout south and Southeast Asia since 2010.

The research proposes that by introducing non-native blue-finned Mahseer from Maharashtra during the 1980s, endemic Mahseer remaining in the River Cauvery and its tributaries have suffered a disastrous effect. The blue-finned Mahseer has now become one of the most abundant fish in the river.

The orange-finned mahseer is found only in the Cauvery River, however other mahseer species are found in rivers across the country.