Freshwater fishes and crustaceans of the Mt Panié and Roches de la Ouaième Watershed, New Caledonia

TitleFreshwater fishes and crustaceans of the Mt Panié and Roches de la Ouaième Watershed, New Caledonia
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsTaillebois, L, Marquet, G, Boseto, D, Keith, P
Book TitleA rapid biological Assessment of the Mont Panié range, North Province, New Caledonia.
PublisherConservation International

The freshwater fauna of New Caledonia is rich and consists of 101 species (64 fish and 37 decapoda crustaceans). Among these species, 25 are endemic and the Mont Panié area was one of the main site for their conservation. Fish and crustaceans of this area were investigated by a RAP from the 10/10/2010 to 21/10/2010 on three sites: La Guen (4 stations), Wewec (5 stations) and Roches de la Wayem (1 station). Ten species of crustaceans and 9 species of fish were collected and they are mainly diadromous amphidromous. Only one species was introduced. Considering the number of species found, crustaceans are more diverse in La Guen than in Wewec and on the contrary, fish are more diverse in Wewec than in La Guen. Roches de la Wayem is the poorest site in terms of fish and crustaceans biodiversity. The RAP sites do not have high species richness compared with others sites that were prospected in the North Province, or in New Caledonia, especially when compared to the nearby coastal rivers from the eastern side of the Mt Panié.

As all species caught are amphidromous, all impacts of humans on aquatic habitats is highly significant, particularly on estuarine habitats. These have to undertake two migrations between freshwater and the sea. The success of such a life cycle - i.e. production of larvae for downstream migration after hatching and restocking rivers with post-larval and juvenile upstream colonisation after recruitment in freshwaters – depends on maintaining the mountain-ocean corridor open to allow movements between both habitats.