Wednesday June 14, 2023


In northeast Thailand, the Community Network in 7 Provinces of the Mekong River Basin (ComNetMekong) has initiated a project aimed at engaging local communities in conserving the carp within a Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) located along the Mekong River between Thailand and Lao PDR. Supported by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), this project strives to enhance knowledge about the status of the species, involve stakeholders in strategic conservation action plans, establish fish conservation zones, and raise awareness among local communities, policy makers and other key stakeholders.

Employing a local participatory action research approach, ComNetMekong conducts surveys and studies the behaviour, key habitats, and threats to the species. Surveys have been conducted in three villages – Tad Serm, Nam Pri, and Pak Som. Workshops to gather additional information about the species were organised with various stakeholders including the Department of Fisheries and academics from local universities. By combining local community knowledge with scientific findings, a more comprehensive understanding of the fish species’ status in the target areas can emerge.

The survey results indicate that the carp primarily inhabits the mainstream of large rivers such as the Mekong River, and spawns over sand and gravel substrates during the winter.  As it progresses to the juvenile stage, it migrates to the tributary rivers before returning to the deep areas of the river as an adult. Understanding the carp’s life cycle enables local communities to study its key habitats and behaviour, facilitating improved long-term protection and conservation efforts.

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