Threatened fish named “animal of the year”
The common grayling, a fish that is no longer as plentiful in Swiss rivers as its name would suggest, has been named animal of the year for 2007.
Pro Natura, the country’s leading conservation agency, which accorded the fish the honour, warned that it faced an uncertain future owing to loss of habitat.
Traditionally found in lower-lying areas of Switzerland, the common grayling prefers fast-flowing, oxygen-rich, gravel-bottomed waterways in which to live and breed.
But, according to Pro Natura, these conditions are proving harder and harder to come by, as installations – notably hydropower projects – have altered the direction and flow of many rivers.
The organisation claims the latter have had devastating consequences for the common grayling, which it says is one of Switzerland’s most eye-catching fish species due to its prominent dorsal fin.