Lake Victoria cichlids can’t catch a break

Urban and industrial run-off. World Agroforestry Centre

After the introduction of the predatory Nile tilapia and Nile perch in the 1950′s, the native cichlid population of Lake Victoria dropped dramatically. According to Les Kauffman, a chief scientist at Boston University, it has been “the greatest vertebrate mass extinction in recorded history”. Adding to the cichlid’s woes; pollution and habitat destruction from the 30 million human inhabitants around the lake. Now that Nile tilapia and perch levels are dropping as a result of pollution and over/illegal fishing, efforts are underway to save this resource. Reducing lake pollution is always a good thing, unfortunately it will result in more predators. For more information on Lake Victoria check out Lake Victoria: a sick giant and AllAfrica.com’s pollution article.

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