Detection of a new species introduced into Banyoles lake
The Ebro Barbel is a species originating solely from the Ebro River basin. Probably introduced by man, although the reason is unknown, it has become an invasive exotic species that is having a negative effect on the ecosystems of most of the major rivers in Catalonia, others in the Iberian Peninsula, and even in Italy.
Banyoles lake suffers from a serious problem as a result of the introduction of exotic species, as currently over 99% of the biomass of fish species are introduced species. In the initial tests carried out so far in Banyoles lake as part of the “Projecte Estany” some species unknown until now have already been caught. This is the case with the Ebro Barbel (scientific name Luciobarbus graellsii), of which two large specimens have been caught in the lake. It has also been detected in the Canaleta a la Farga stream, in Banyoles, and also in the Terri river. The Ebro Barbel is a new introduced species that joins a long list of species that have appeared in the lake and since 1910 has grown to more than 17.
The Ebro Barbel resembles a carp and can be as large as one, but it has a longer and more elaborate body and also two barbs on the side of its mouth. It is considered as an introduced species despite being a fish originating from the Ebro? Well, yes!. When speaking of introduced exotic species, we are referring to species that are not associated with that fluvial. In the case of the Ebro Barbel it would be exclusive (endemic) to the Ebro basin, but has been introduced to large Catalan rivers, the Llobregat, Ter, Fluvià and Muga, and in some rivers elsewhere on the Iberian Peninsula, and in Italian rivers in the Tuscany area where it cause serious environmental problems. The specimens caught have been removed from the waters, as the intention of fishing and the project is to reduce exotic species to low enough levels to favour the recovery of native species like the Mediterranean Barbel or the European Chub.
Banyoles, 15 november 2010