Freshwater ichthyofauna is facing intensive stress as a result of urbanization and growing industries in Pakistan. The alien fish species are considered one of the major challenges due to their deleterious effects. Feeding habit analysis is a basic tool to evaluate the ecological stress on fish species residing in different habitats. The present study was designed to disclose the feeding overlap between Cyprinus carpio (Common Carp) and Hypophthalmichthys molitrix (Silver Carp) from Head Marala (river Chenab) and Mangla Dam (river Jhelum). For this purpose, 20 samples i-e 10 from each site of each fish species out of total 40 were captured from March to May 2022 and analyzed at the Department of Zoology, University of Sialkot through gut content analyses. Results indicated that there was a significant feeding overlap with Schoener index values of 0.65 and 0.89 at Head Marala and Mangla Dam respectively between two exotic fish species. It is observed that the aquatic ecosystem of Pakistan is being depleted, where highly generalist feeder invasive fishes have interspecific feeding overlap. It is recommended that the management of the freshwater ecosystem and resident ichthyofauna should be treated as a top priority; otherwise, these may embrace an inevitable and incalculable loss. This functional baseline data will help the land managers and aquaculturists to conserve the freshwater ecosystem of Pakistan.

Article History

Received: March 28, 2023; Accepted: May 30, 2023; Published: Dec 26, 2023