Biology of jungle perch, Kuhlia rupestris, identification of threats and knowledge gaps to improve local and global management
Kuhlia rupestris (Lacepède, 1802), the jungle perch, is a catadromous fish species endemic to Indo-Pacific insular systems. In parts of its range, this species is considered a popular freshwater recreational sport fish, in others it is a common food source. In this study, we attempt to combine scientific literature and scientists’ expertise not only to gather information about its biology but also to identify knowledge gaps, threats and potential remediation measures. A surprisingly large amount of information is available for this non-commercially fished species, possibly due to a combination of scientific interest for its singular life cycle, making it a model species for the study of diadromy, and conservation concerns in Queensland (Australia) and Réunion Island (France). Knowledge gaps mostly relate to the connectivity within and between rivers/islands and to the reproduction and the pelagic larval phases. Threats are generally associated to the requirements of the catadromous life cycle, including upstream/downstream and sea/river migrations. Conservation actions should consider habitat quality and availability, water flow requirements and fishing regulation and its enforcement where necessary.