Migratory Catfish

11,000 kilometers

A dorado catfish travels about 11,000 kilometers during its life--almost the entire width of South America. This includes the distance it descends as larvae and as a young adult looking to spawn.

The dorado catfish is commercially exploited by the Brazilian, Peruvian, Colombian, and Bolivian fishing fleets. This heavy fishing pressure is currently very difficult to regulate.

Habitat fragmentation from development projects and accelerated urbanization are also threats. The survival of this amazing fish depends on maintaining connectivity between their critical habitats. For the dorado catfish, the Amazon Basin is one such habitat, stretching from the Andes to the Atlantic.

Our work to maintain dorado catfish populations includes the identification of key habitats that the fish need to fulfill their vital functions; this is for playback (headwaters), for food (the Amazon Basin) and for the growth of new generations (the estuary). Likewise, we seek to identify the main threats that these habitats face and to plan strategic conservation and management efforts to secure them.

Related Regions

Sign Up for Email Updates

Get news from the field and learn about ways you can help Earth’s most threatened species.