Scientists identified a new species of fish in the Dangqu River, a source of the Yangtze River, on Monday, bringing the total known fish species in the area from five to six, according to a recent report by the Xinhua News Agency.
A member from the Changjiang River Scientific Research Institute (CRSRI) captured more than a dozen fish during a comprehensive scientific expedition conducted in the river. After observing their external morphology and examining internal structures, the team ultimately identified four of the captured fish as Triplophysa stolickai, a species of ray-finned fish.
The fish is characterized by its cylindrical front body, a flattened back body, and strong adaptability to changes in altitude. It is known to be one of the highest-altitude fish species in the world.
Qi Delin, a researcher from the Qinghai University, noted that the discovery is expected to contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the diversity of fish species in the source river, which is crucial for the authentic and complete protection of indigenous fish species in the Yangtze River.
Fish species in the Yangtze River Source serve as an “ecological barometer” for the region, said Li Wei, who is in charge of the team for researching key fish habitats in the source rivers of the Yangtze River at the CRSRI.
The identification indicates a healthy and improving aquatic ecosystem in the source rivers and the possibility of increasing fish diversity still exists, he said. He further stated that the research team will investigate the fish composition, distribution patterns, and habitats of the three sources of the Yangtze River from an ecological hydrological perspective.