Newslet­ter — Spe­cial Thema Cen­sus


Parosphromenus Project


Copen­hagen Sep­tem­ber 15th 2016 Newslet­ter nr. 123

Dear Mem­bers of the Parosphromenus Project.

This ‘spe­cial issue’ Newslet­ter has been writ­ten by Helene Schoubye with spe­cial sup­port from Ben­jamin Wilden and Peter Finke.

This Newslet­ter will be ded­i­cated mainly to one impor­tant topic – The half-​yearly Census.

We have cho­sen this topic, because The Cen­sus – Spring and Autumn each year, — is con­sid­ered a very impor­tant activ­ity, and we would like to explain a lit­tle about why it is so impor­tant, — and also add some in depth expla­na­tions regard­ing ‘How to’.

Begin­ning of Census

Cen­sus has been tak­ing place for many years – also before the Parosphromenus Project started as an online activ­ity. In the ‘early’ days it was an impor­tant instru­ment in order to keep know­ing which species were present in pri­vate stocks, and in par­tic­u­lar which species were ‘in dan­ger’ of dis­ap­pear­ing from pri­vate stocks.

It has absolutely been so, that some species has been ‘res­cued’ because of the abil­ity of the Cen­sus to bring atten­tion to any par­tic­u­lar species, — and to act quickly.

The pur­pose of Census

The real­ity of keep­ing Parosphromenus is that it is not char­ac­ter­ized by a great sta­bil­ity. Species that are imported are rare, — and of very dif­fer­ent qual­ity, many times with uncer­tain iden­ti­fi­ca­tion. Imports and com­mer­cial traded fish are a very unsta­ble source, — and once a species is ‘lost’ we can­not expect that this par­tic­u­lar species will ever appear again com­mer­cially. Either because it sim­ply isn’t being caught, or more seri­ously because sud­denly biotopes becomes destroyed, and a par­tic­u­lar species is lost.

There are a few species which are more often in com­mer­cial trade, but there are also many species or forms which are never imported.

Their pres­ence in this project relies only on the fact that we keep an eye on where and how many are present within mem­ber stocks.

There­fore, it is impor­tant in this project, that we keep a very close eye on our stock at all times, — and every fish/​species is impor­tant to register.

This way, we fol­low all the species which are present and when /​if num­bers are get­ting low, we act.

Tak­ing part of course is vol­un­tary, but we would like to stress, that we urge you to take the time and to report your stock, — no mat­ter how small it may be. Some­times we are able to ‘match’ sin­gle males and females this way also.

Often we see the same mem­bers report­ing year after year, but often we think many new mem­bers may not take part for some reason.

We would like to stress, that we would very much like all mem­bers to take part, — and it is not bound by coun­try boarders.

On the con­trary – it also becomes a very good instru­ment in order to see – and show – the growth and the pos­i­tive effect of our Project. It is a way to doc­u­ment that we are estab­lish­ing the Project in many coun­tries now, — such as the United States, UK, East­ern coun­tries etc.

This is an impor­tant pur­pose too.

We actu­ally see the per­sonal and shared inter­est in the Parosphromenus group. Some of you report that they are not keep­ing fishes them­selves. We don´t blame these mem­bers – we need them! They show us their sup­port and inter­est in the project and may help in dif­fer­ent ways.

Also you might argue that you reported you stock last time and noth­ing has changed. Well exactly this is the infor­ma­tion we want. It rep­re­sents a sta­bile stock. What­ever is said about the neces­sity of breed­ing, every stock that did not decrease is good news. Of course we all like a lot of reported off­spring, but since we want to mon­i­tor a rep­re­sen­ta­tive stock of our project, we value every sin­gle report, no mat­ter that is reported.

How to :

We always remind you, — each April, and each Octo­ber, and instruc­tions are writ­ten on the homepage.

What is impor­tant to note is :

1. num­ber of males, num­ber of females and num­ber of fish that hasn’t yet been deter­mined (this can be fry, or it can be young with which are not yet show­ing sex identity)

2. Ori­gin: Please note in any case where do you got the fish from. If it is wild caught, tell us the place of its occur­rence (loca­tion). These fish are of spe­cial value; in the long run we try to build a stock exclu­sively form them. But mostly it’s from the aquar­ium trade; then say “trade”, or note the importer and date. If it’s from a known breeder, tell us the name of the breeder.

3. Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion: Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion is a great prob­lem, espe­cially with the less well known species. Exam­ples: trade fish reported to be e.g. P. “gunawani” or more often P. “deiss­neri”. Please, put these fish in “quo­ta­tion marks” if you doubt the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion your­self. Maybe, we do it with some reports if the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion is doubt­ful to us. Species like rub­ri­mon­tis and tweed­iei are some­times sold in the trade, but the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion is often doubt­ful. Use the quo­ta­tion marks to indi­cate your unease.

4. Other mat­ters: Tell us with short words what you miss, sug­gest or expect in the cen­sus. But mind: The thing must remain easy to han­dle. We can­not strive at the per­fect result.

With this ‘spe­cial issue’ con­cern­ing Cen­sus, we hope that many of you will take the time and par­tic­i­pate in the upcom­ing Octo­ber Cen­sus which will begin here on Octo­ber 1. and fin­ish Novem­ber 1. 2016

Many kind regards on behalf of the Parosphromenus Project, -

Helene Schoubye


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