Who Would’ve Thought Banggai Cardinals Could Be Invasive


For years we’ve been hearing how badly Banggai cardinals (Pterapogon kauderni) have had it. Because these cardinals have a very limited natural range, the aquarium industry decimated wild populations, almost to the point of extinction. Concerned hobbyists and conservationists found ways to breed these fish in order to provide the aquarium industry with the fish they desired while also relieving the pressures off of wild specimen. At some point in the misfortunes of the Banggai, groups started releasing the fish into non-native habitats, which is the focus of the video above. The Lembeh Strait, one such place the cardinals were introduced, has been overrun by these slow paced brooders, which has caused other species to suffer. The cardinals have displaced clownfish from anemones, as well as shrimpfish and other cardinal species from the spines of black longspine urchins.

Special thanks goes out to Matthew Wittenrich for sharing this video.


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