Long Term Conservation of Red Fin Labeo (Labeo lankae), Globally Critically Endangered Fish Species

Project type
Project status

Location: Sri Lanka (Malwathu Oya River Basin)

Duration: 1 September 2019 to 31 March 2021

Project Background

Red Fin Labeo (Labeo lankae), which is endemic to Sri Lanka is currently classified as a Critically Endangered (CR) species due to its limited distribution. According to previous studies, it had been widely distributed within the dry zone of Sri Lanka. However, recent studies provided evidence of their existence, now restricted to mid and lower Malwathu Oya Basin in the North Central dry zone. There is however an information gap of their populations, habitat, distribution, threats and also the impact caused by the climate change on their existence. This study focuses on executing a full investigation on the species and their habitats, along the Malwatu Oya Basin to fulfil the existing information gap and ultimately come-up with a species recovery plan to enrich their habitats and ensure their survival in the future.

IUCN will develop a long-term conservation plan for the conservation of Labeo lankae with the help of Ocean Park Conservation Foundation (OPCF) Hong Kong.

Objectives of the project

  • Identify the present distribution of Red Fin Labeo (Labeo lankae) through a detailed survey in the Malwatu Oya River Basin in the North Central Province
  • Develop a species recovery plan for the Red Fin Labeo
  • Conduct awareness among the school and community levels while enforcing relevant authorities to conserve the Red Fin Labeo habitats.

Expected Outputs

  1. Detailed survey to identify the present distribution of Red Fin Labeo (Labeo lankae)
  2. Species Recovery plan for the Red Fin Labeo
  3. Twenty awareness programmes of conservation of Red Fin Labeo (Labeo lankae) among  school  and community levels

Donor/s:  Ocean Park Conservation Foundation (OPCF) Hong Kong

Partner/s: Department of Wildlife Conservation

Sri Lanka