Regular stock-checks are the basis for all conservation work
Any conservation work requires knowledge about basic facts. Whether in nature or in the aquarium: without an overview about the actual conditions, no successful conservation strategy can be developed.
We are far from having an overview about the actual stability of licorice gouramis in their natural habitats. We only have punctual insight at certain and often not in widespread areas, because nobody is able to carry out constant monitoring in these places. If such biotopes are visited again after some years, it is often frightening how much destruction has occurred in between. At present we see no way how to significantly improve this very poor data base.
However, we have completely different possibilities to the check on our aquarium stock of licorice gouramis. Even if it is not yet common in the aquarium hobby, it is quite easy to list the available species and forms at given time intervals and to evaluate their distribution and breeding rate. The project from the very beginning has therefore organised such an inventory of the stock at six months intervals. A half-yearly census is frequent enough to avoid having large information gaps, but still not too frequent to bore or overstrain the participants.
Today the Parosphromenus Project has already collected 6 years of such records of licorice gourami stock. They have become the base for the assignment of “godparenthood defined as the responsibility for the conservation of a species or form by captive breeding. This only works on a voluntarily basis and not always for a longer time, but in general this instrument has been successful. Before the project, almost the complete aquarium stock of licorice gouramis died out again within a few years. With the beginning of our work, the reoccurrence of this catastrophy could be prevented. Today we have ensured that not a single species and only very few variants, which were imported in very small numbers, has become “extinct” in our aquariums. Since the trend shows that more varieties will be available, we have to recruit more members in order to keep this standard. This is the basis for the renewed Parosphromenus Project and for the attempt of this network to win more Parosphromenus enthusiasts in all corners of the world. to support and strengthen us in our goals.
In general, our semi-annual census takes place in spring in April (start 01.04., deadline for stock inventory 30.04) and in autumn (start 01.10, deadline 31.10.). Basically it is very easy to take part in the census: just write an e-mail during the above mentioned time intervals to census@parosphromenus-project, indicating your individual stock. In the top menu below the „census-button“ you can find information about what has to be considered. Please take part in the census regularly, even if your stock is only small! Only then we can get a realistic picture. The results will be presented in the newsletter.