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Channa Barca

Channa Barca:

Assam Forest Department officials recently intercepted a smuggling attempt involving over 500 ‘Channa Barca’ fish valued at Rs 4.5 crore at Dibrugarh airport.

  • Channa Barca, also known as the Barca Snakehead, is a primitive predatory fish and member of the family Channidae.
  • “Pipli Cheng” or “Cheng Garaka” is the local name for Channa Barca.
  • It is endemic to the upper Brahmaputra river basin in northeastern India and Bangladesh.
  • In India It is restricted to the states of Assam and Nagaland in northeastern India but is scarce and never collected in numbers.
  • It inhabits vertical burrows around the margins of wetlands, which typically become dry during the winter months.
  • The fish use them as refuges during the dry winter months, emerging to hunt and breed while the habitat is flooded.
  • Since it is a rare, ornamental fish, it is in high demand in the international market and is susceptible to illegal trade.
  • Overall It has been assessed as data deficient by the IUCN, and in 2014.
  • It was assessed by the IUCN as critically endangered due to habitat loss.