Sevan khramulya — Varicorhinus capoeta sevangi (Filippi, 1865)


Carps — Cyprinidae

Status. An endemic and declining subspecies of the Kura khramulya. According to IUCN criteria categorized as Vulnerable VU A1cd.

Distribution. Beyond Armenia, attempts were made to acclimatize this fish in water bodies of Georgia and near St. Petersburg, Russia.

Distribution in Armenia. Distributed in the Lake Sevan. Represented by lacustrine, fluvio–lacustrine and fluvial forms. The fluvial form has survived only in the middle course of the Argichi River.

Habitats. Inhabits the shallow parts of the Lake Sevan, down to the depth 10 m. In winter it moves to depressions 30–40 m deep.

Biological traits. Maturity is reached at 2–3 years in males and 5–7 years in females. Spawning occurs in the lake in June–July. Fertility is 15–20 thousand eggs. Feeds on detritus and aquatic vegetation.

Population size and its trends. Previously, it was among the dominant commercial fish in the lake and its annual harvest rates reached 300–500 tonnes. Currently, the khramulya abundance is dwindled and continues to sharply decrease.

Major threats. The principal threats are poaching, water pollution and deterioration of natural conditions ensuing from water use for irrigation.

Conservation measures. Catch in the Lake Sevan is prohibited since 1995. Protected in Sevan National Park. The methods of rearing khramulya yearlings taken from wild founders are developed. It is essential to manage water regime in fluvial spawning grounds and to maintain conservation during the spawning migrations and hutchling returns.

© S. Pipoyan

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Vladimirov, 1938; Barach, 1940; Dadikyan, 1971, 1986; Gabrielyan, 1988, 2001; Pipoyan, Tigranyan 2002; Rubenyan, Voskanov, 2003; Rubenyan, 2003; Levin et al., 2005

Compiler. B. Gabrielyan