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Scientific Name: Chitala chitala (Hamilton, 1822)
English Name: Humped Featherback
Bengali Name: Chital
Availability: Chitala chitala is described as a widely distributed species in rivers, beels, haors, reservoirs, canals and ponds (Rahman 2005). However, the species is specifically reported from the river Brahmaputra, Jamuna, Padma, Meghna, Someshwari and Kongsho River of Netrokona, Korotoa and Atrai River of Dinajpur, the Surma River of Sylhet, the Kirtonkhola and Shugandha River of Barishal Division. This species has also been recorded from the Kaptai Lake of Rangamati and the Tanguar Haor of Sunamgonj (Hossain and Haque 2005, Rahman and Akhter 2007, Nath et al. 2010, Galib et al. 2013, Ahmed et al. 2015).
Habitat and Ecology: C. chitala is carnivorous in habit and predatory in nature. It feeds on aquatic insects, molluscs , shrimps and small fishes. At its early stage, it lives on insects and tender roots of aquatic plants. It builds nest for breeding and protects it (Alam 2007). The species congregate in large numbers, where it lives.
Justification: Chitala chitala is an apparently widespread species in Bangladesh and found in the markets throughout the year (Alam 2007). However, local distribution ranges of the species are most probably becoming restricted to some areas of the country, which could be inferred from its reduced estimated Area of Occupancy (7,302.25 km2). The fish is highly utilized and fetches high prices in the markets. Based on field observations, it was suspected that the population of this species has declined by about 75% over the last two decades (Ahmed et al. 2015). Earlier, this species was assessed as Endangered in the country, however, since then the existing threats have not been removed nor the population decline has halted. In the absence of any pragmatic conservation measures targeting the species, and existing continued widespread threats, it is unlikely that the situation will improve in near future. Therefore, threatened category Endangered is retained for the species.
[Source: Red List of Bangladesh, Volume 5: Freshwater Fishes]