Diversity and abundance of cichlids in Ikere Gorge Reservoir, Iseyin, Oyo State, Nigeria
Cichlids are highly abundant and commercially important fish in freshwater ecosystems in Nigeria. This study examined the diversity and abundance of cichlids in Ikere Gorge Reservoir. Four fishing villages were randomly selected from 12 fishing villages in Ikere Gorge Reservoir as sampling sites. Cichlids were sampled randomly and examined from fishermen catch in each selected fishing village; were identified with appropriate keys; the weight and abundance of the catches were recorded. The data obtained was subjected to descriptive statistical analysis using SPSS (Version 20.0) software to determine the abundance of fish species. Fish species diversity was carried out by using Palaeontological Statistics (PAST). Eight species of cichlids were sampled in Ikere Gorge but Sarotherodon galilaeus was the most abundant species while the least abundant species was Pelmatolapia mariae. It was observed that, cichlids were abundant in rainy season than in the dry season. Likewise, cichlids were abundant in Ikere-gorge reservoir but they have low diversity. This may be as a result of unsustainable fishing pressure and deforestation of riparian forest and sedimentation in Ikere-gorge reservoir. Therefore, to maintain sustainable fishing activities and improve cichlids population in Ikeregorge reservoir, unsustainable activities in and around Ikere Gorge reservoir should be put under control.
Keywords: Cichlidae; freshwater species; dominant; Sarotherodon galilaeus; Pelmatolapia mariae.