Rare fish species released in Balgarka Nature Park have survived and adapted | WWF

Rare fish species released in Balgarka Nature Park have survived and adapted

Posted on
25 August 2017
Sofia – WWF research has shown that the fish of two rare species, which were reintroduced last year in Panicharka River in Balgarka Nature Park in Bulgaria, have survived and adapted well.

The two species are European Bullhead (Cottus gobio) and Golden Spined Loach (Sabanejewia balcanica).
 
The translocated loaches remained near the place where they were released and feel good there. The bullheads moved upstream where the water was faster and the bottom stonier. All the fish found by WWF’s experts are adults, in good condition.

These species have disappeared from the river years ago. Now, the ecological status of the water basin has improved but they cannot return by themselves because of a river barrier - the wall of Hristo Smirnenski dam.

Bullhead is a species included in the Red Data Book of Bulgaria since its founding. This tiny river bottom fish has few surviving living populations in Bulgaria. In order to be resettled in Panicharka River, the bullheads were taken from Stara Reka, a tributary of Yantra River. The experts took 250 fishes and resettled them to a new location.
 
Over 500 loaches were also moved from Vidima River.

WWF will continue to regularly monitor the new population in Balgarka Nature Park.