Save the Arapaima and Redtail Catfish

71% reached

6 days left to go Still to go: 31-05-2019
€ 3.593 Raised
€ 5.000 Our goal

Save the Arapaima and Redtail Catfish - Two iconic fish species of the Amazon on the verge of collapse

Please support our project and we will virtually take you along on our adventure! Check the rewards in the donation section to see how we will keep you up to date. Additionally, every donor will receive an invitation to our Instagram.

We (Maximiliaan Claus and Florian Kappen) are two Master students in Biology at Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands. Within our study, we have been specializing in aquatic ecology and especially freshwater fish research. Our expertise is our passion and our life goal is the conservation of unique fish species. Thanks to our passion, we have managed to arrange a half-year graduation project for an NGO (Instituto Araguaia) in Brasil. Our research project targets the Arapaima, which is the largest scaled freshwater fish in the world and the Redtail Catfish, which is one of the largest catfish species in the Amazon. Both species are of great importance to the ecosystem, the economy and culture of South America. Due to human impact, numbers of both species are rapidly declining. Nowadays, the Arapaima depends on protected areas and conservation efforts for their survival and due to the lack of data, no information on the Redtail Catfish is available yet.

Our research area is Cantão State Park, one of the areas in Brasil where the Arapaima and Redtail Catfish are protected. Nonetheless, populations of both species are under severe pressure by poaching. The Arapaima is especially sensitive to this, as poaching causes entire broodstocks to be wiped out. Therefore, the main objective of our research project is to determine the effects of poaching on the Arapaima and Redtail Catfish. In addition, our project will provide valuable and crucial information on both species, as hardly any research has been performed on them at all! In Cantão State Park itself, no research on these species has ever been performed and therefore, the problems and impacts of poaching have never been addressed and no measures could be taken in order to properly protect the Arapaima and Redtail Catfish. This protection is essential for the preservation of these species and their habitat.

With our results, the NGO can imply new management strategies, which will allow the Arapaima and Redtail catfish populations in Cantão State Park to recover. By doing this, the entire ecosystem will be able to recover and become better protected. The results will also be used in order to educate the local people on the benefits of conservation and the negative impacts of poaching. Thanks to the recovery of the ecosystem and education, the local human communities will be able to focus themselves on alternative sources of income that will be beneficial in the long term, such as eco-tourism, sport fishing (catch and release) and nature research. Lastly, we hope to be able to write one of more scientific articles and create a video, which will enable us to share our findings on an international scale.

For this project we will need to hire a local ranger, who will guide us during our research. This ranger will provide us with knowledge on the area and its people. In addition, we are obligated to have him support us during fieldwork and ensure our safety. Therefore, the coöperation with this local ranger is of vital importance for this research, however the costs for this ranger have not been covered yet! To cover these costs, we will need your help! We have managed to finance our travel and accomodation costs from our personal savings, but unfortunately we are not able to meet the costs for this ranger. Therefore, your donation will contribute to covering these costs, and ultimately, the survival of two iconic species and their environment!

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News updates

Article Roofmeister.nl/ Message KWO/ WUR facebook post!

07/05/2019 | 22:04

We are closing in on the end date of this crowdfunding, but are still in need of donations! That’s why we have been working hard on spreading our crowdfunding with the world. Luckily, the Dutch sports fishing community has been of great help! For instance, Karperwereld Online (KWO) has posted about us: https://karperwereld.nl/kwo-boulevard-een-bijzonder-amazone-project-en-de-allermooiste-karper-van-frankrijk/ Thereby, we published an article on Roofmeister.nl about our previous adventure, with the alligator gar! In this article, we also ask to visit our crowdfunding website: https://www.roofmeister.nl/de-alligator-gar-de-levende-dinosaurier/ Lastly, the Wageningen University facebook page posted our crowdfunding, for which we are very thankful! We reached out to a lot of people this way. We want to thank everyone who donated to our project! Hopefully we can get closer to our goal in the next month. Spread the word and help us reach our target, so we can provide these beautiful species with the protection they need and deserve!

Halfway there!

18/03/2019 | 18:15

The crowdfunding has been live for less than one month now and has been a flying start! We are already halfway to our goal. Amazing to see that so many people care about the conservation of these unique species. We want to thank everyone who donated to this project. Even though we have had a flying start, donations are still of great importance! Would you happen to know anyone who might be willing to donate? Let them know about this crowdfunding! Hopefully the next 50% will also be gathered soon, so we can work on the preservation of these species. Thank you all very much!

The Arapaima (Arapaima gigas)

The Arapaima is the largest, scaled freshwater fish in the world. It can grow over three meters in length and weigh over 200kg! Only at a length of 1.5m and the age of 4 years(!), the Arapaima is able to spawn. Spawning takes place at the start of the rainy season. Prior to the rainy season, during the dry season, the animals start forming couples. During this period, the Arapaima move out of the flooded forests and into lakes and canals, which can cause congregations of multiple Arapaima in a single lake. In the same period, the male Arapaima develops a bright red colour, which can cover upto 75% of the body! Thanks to this colour, the Arapaima is also called the "Red Fish".

In order to survive the in the often oxygen poor lakes during the dry season, the Arapaima has developed a special feature, which is the ability to breathe air. Unfortunately this survival freature is also the species downfall, as this gulping makes it easy for poachers to detect them. After all, a giant fish that gives away its position is the perfect target for them! Because of this, the number of Arapaima is declining rapidly and in some regions, poaching has even led to extirpation of the species. Therefore, the Arapaima depends on protected areas and proper management for its survival. In areas where management is successfully implemented, the number of Arapaima are increasing and the entire ecosystem is recovering! This has provided the local communities with alternative sources of income, which can provide long term support for. A very good example of this can be found in Guyana. 

The Redtail Catfish (Phractocephalus hemioliopterus)

The Redtail Catfish may be the most colorful fish in the Amazonian waterways. As the name suggests, the species is characterized by its bright red tail fin. However, its white flanks and black and brown spotted top side also contribute to its unique and iconic appearance. The Redtail Catfish can reach a length of 1.5 meters and a weight of over 50kg! The species is often found near the bottom and under water structures such as sunken trees. The species is also a welcome catch for poachers, which is the main cause for its declining numbers. Though the Redtail Catfish is still more abundant and widespread compared to the Arapaima, no measures have been taken in order to prevent further decline of the species. The reason for this is that hardly any research has been performed on the Redtail Catfish, causing a major lack of information on the life cycle of the species. Because of this, it is of great importance to gather data on the species in order to create proper management strategies to protect the species.

 

Who are we?

We (Maximiliaan Claus & Florian Kappen) are two Master students in Biology at Wageningen University and Research (WUR) in the Netherlands. We have been specializing in aquatic ecology and especially freshwater fish species. Before we started on our Master degree, we graduated with a BSc in Applied Biology and Ecology at the University of Applied Sciences (HAS) in the Netherlands. Ever since we started on our study, we have been working on projects in and around all types of freshwater systems. These projects mainly included ecological consultancy and the monitoring of populations of rare and endangered species and their habitat. Our experience and expertise reaches further than just the Netherlands. During a previous internship we performed research on the Alligator Gar (Atractosteus spatula) in the state of Florida in the United States. This species (see media) shows very similar characteristics to the Arapaima: it reaches a similar size and is also capable of breathing air. For more information on our Alligator Gar research you can take a look at this article. During our internship in Florida, we also contributed to research on another giant fish species, the Gulf Sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi). After completing this internship with an A and graduating for our BSc, we worked as a project employee at an ecological consultancy bureau. This also contributed to our experience and knowledge on fish research.

Our passion reaches beyond our study and in our spare time we are still doing all kinds of fish related activities: working at the aquarium departement of a pet store, keeping our own pond and of course sportfishing. Our passion has led to an unquenchable thirst for knowledge on everything beneath the water surface and the will to preserve and protect it, which also explains our direction of study. We first came into direct contact with all the beauty beneath the water surface through sportfishing. Our catches enable us to share our passion with the rest of the world and raise awareness for the hidden and sometimes underappreceated under water world. Some of our catches even made it to the national news, such as a 103kg Sturgeon Maximiliaan caught in Europe. Though giant fish like this are very special, we also appreciate the little species and love every facet of the aquatic environment.

This project on the Arapaima and Redtail Catfish means more to us than just a graduation project. For us, this project is the ultimate challenge within our expertise and we have been living towards it for a long time! We became fascinated by the Arapaima and Redtail Catfish at a young age and have dreamt of admiring this species in their natural surroundings ever since. With our research project we are not only able to live our youth dreams, but also make sure that this dream lives on and that everyone can admire these beautiful animals in the future!

SPONSOR: Dierspecialist van der Vaart, Woerden --   Facebook -- La Fontaineplein 17  --  3446BX Woerden

>> Join the lottery with a donation of 15, 25 or 50 euro for an increasing chance to win one of the artificial lure give-away packages!

> Package 1 (Main prize!) of €51,-:

  • 2X Spro Screamin' Quatro Devil Swimbaits (S150) of €20,- each.
  • 1X Abu Garcia McHybrid of €5,-.
  • 1X Fox Pro Shad (Hot olive) 28cm of €6,-.

> Package 2 of €35,-:

  • 1X Spro Screamin' Quatro Devil Swimbaits (S150) of €20,-.
  • 1X Abu Garcia McHybrid of €5,-.
  • 1X Spro Jigheads 20gr + shad of €5,-.
  • 1X Jackson the trout shad of €5,-.

 

>> Dierspecialist van der Vaart:

Great store which sells a large variety of sports fishing gear, for all types of sport-fisheries and gives great advide on any species. Also has a great variety of aquarium fish and other pets and pet related material for sale! Also sells dead bait (roach and sardines) in winter!

 

 

Choose an amount

€ 5

Donate € 5,- or fill in a different amount!

Thanks to your support, we are one step closer in preserving these unique animals!

8 donors

€ 10

Thank you very much for your donation!

Thanks to your support, we are one step closer in preserving these unique animals!

7 donors

€ 15

Enter the lottery

Thank you very much for your donation! 1) You will receive a card with one of our research pictures. 2) You will receive 1 entry in the lottery! (Please check "Lure give-away" for more information).

9 donors

€ 25

Invitation to the final presentation and a double shot in the lottery

Thank you very much for your donation! 1) You will receive a card with one of our research pictures. 2) You are invited to the final presentation of the project. 3) You will receive 2 entries in the lottery! (Please check "Lure give-away" for more information).

9 donors

€ 50

Adopt a Redtail Catfish and receive updates

Thank you very much for your donation! 1) You will adopt a Redtail Catfish, which will receive your name (or a name of your choice)! You will receive a picture of this fish as well! 2) You will receive a card with one of our research pictures. 3) You will receive updates on the progress of the project. 4) You will receive 3 entries in the lottery! (Please check "Lure give-away" for more information). 5) You are invited to the final presentation of the project.

8 donors

€ 75

Adopt an Arapaima and receive updates

Thank you very much for your donation! 1) You will adopt an Arapaima, which will receive your name (or a name of your choice)! You will receive a picture of this fish as well! 2) You will receive a card with one of our research pictures. 3) You will receive updates on the progress of the project. 4) You will receive 3 entries in the lottery! (Please check "Lure give-away" for more information). 5) You are invited to the final presentation of the project.

€ 100

Personal Skype conversation and updates

Thank you very much for your donation! 1) You will receive updates on the progress of the project. 2) You will receive a card with one of our research pictures. 3) You can have a Skype conversation with us during the project. 4) You are invited to the final presentation of the project.

2 donors

€ 175

A canvas picture and your logo on the crowdfunding platform

Thank you very much for your donation! 1) Your (company)name and logo will be shared on the crowdfunding platform. 2) You will receive a research picture on canvas! (Optional). 3) You are invited to the final presentation of the project.

1 donor

€ 250

Special credit and a personal presentation

Thank you very much for your donation! 1) Your (company)name and logo will be mentioned in our video and research report. 2) Your (company)name and logo will be shared on the crowdfunding platform. 3) You will receive a research picture on canvas (Optional). 4) We will personally present the results of the project to you (only in the Netherlands), or you could visit the final presentation.

1 donor

€ 500

Exclusive credit and a personal presentation

Thank you very much for your donation! 1) Your (company)name and logo will be mentioned in our video, research report and on (social) media. 2) Your (company)name and logo will be shared on the crowdfunding platform. 3) You will receive a research picture on canvas! (Optional). 4) We will personally present the results of the project to you (only in the Netherlands), or you could visit the final presentation.

1 donor

€ 1.000

An everlasting memory!

Thank you very much for your donation! 1) We will hand you a photo album of the project (personally if in the Netherlands). 2) Your (company)name and logo will be mentioned in our video, research report and on (social) media. 3) Your (company)name and logo will be shared on the crowdfunding platform. 4) You will receive a research picture on canvas! (Optional). 5) We will personally present the results of the project to you (only in the Netherlands), or you could visit the final presentation.

1 donor

Other

I want to choose my own amount