DIVERSITY AND ABUNDANCE OF FISH SPECIES IN SOME SELECTED RIVERINE WETLANDS OF UPPER BENUE RIVER BASIN, NIGERIA
This study was carried out to look at the diversity and abundance of fish species in some selected riverine wetlands of the Upper Benue River Basin. The study was carried out for a 6 month period (July to December 2016). Sampling was by direct observation of the fish at the landing sites. Frequency counts, percentages were used to analyze the fish species composition and abundance while ComEcolPaC (a Microsoft Excel 2003 based program) was used to analyze the variation in the diversity indices. A total of 26 species from 16 families were observed in the riverine wetlands studied and the most diverse groups of fish species were: Schilbe spp with 10.95% and the least in abundance is Gymnarchus niloticus with 0.45%. A systematic management approach like comprehensive rational planning, precautionary and adaptive approaches toward management and development of Riverine wetlands is hereby recommended. Furthermore, government should take immediate action through public awareness and education to regulate fishing activities.
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