YEREVAN, May 21 . / ARKA /. Bardukh Gabrielyan, director of Zoology and Hydroecology Research Center, an affiliation of the National Academy of Sciences, warned today that species of fish which are not endemic for the Lake of Sevan and which spawn at high rate threaten to make endemic species extinct.
Speaking at a news conference he said the imported fish species inhabit the same areas where endemic species live and eat the same food, thus creating obstacles to the latter and threatening the unique ecosystem of the lake.
He said there are three endemic species for the lake - Sevan trout , beghlu and khramulya. One of the imported species is the white fish but experts say the increase of its population can not cause harm to the ecosystem of the lake because it eats a different food.
Lake Sevan is the largest lake in Armenia and the South Caucasus region and one of the largest fresh-water high-altitude lakes in the world. The lake is situated in the central part of the Republic of Armenia, at the altitude of over 1,900m above sea level. It is fed by 28 rivers and streams.
According to various estimates, late last year its fish reserves stood at only 420 metric tons, including 324 metric tons of white fish, down from around 30,000 tons in the early 1990s. -0-