Cen­sus

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.

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