Nature & Environment
Giant mutant goldfish run amok in rivers
By T.K. Randall
April 3, 2015 · 18 comments
Wild goldfish can grow to enormous sizes. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Michelle Jo
Wildlife authorities in Australia have warned people not to release pet fish in to rivers and streams.
Goldfish might seem harmless swimming around inside their tank in your living room, but when released in to the wild these popular family pets can quickly multiply and grow to enormous sizes.
The problem is of particular concern in Australia where massive mutant goldfish and koi carp have been driving native species to the brink of extinction. Some of the goldfish released in the waterways of the country's western regions have grown to monstrous proportions and are now ten times their original size.
"People aren't really aware what damage they're going to have in the ecosystem," said Dr David Morgan, Director of the Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research at Murdoch University.
In addition to driving out native species the gigantic invaders are also bringing with them parasites and diseases that are further damaging the local ecosystem.
Researchers believe that at least 13 new species have been introduced in to the wild in recent years and that most of them have come from pet owners releasing fish in to the country's waterways.
Source: Daily Record
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