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Victoria tilapia (Oreochromis Variabilis)

Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 152511649

Spatial Distribution and Population Status of Critically Endangered Victoria tilapia (Oreochromis variabilis) in the Satellite Lakes of Lake Victoria, Uganda

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 152511649) - Victoria tilapia - Awarded $10,000 on January 21, 2016


This project aims to generate updated information on the spatial distribution and population status of critically endangered Victoria tilapia(Oreochromis variabilis) and Singidia tilapia ( Oreochromis esculentus) in  lakes Kayanja and Kayugi, satellite lakes of Lake Victoria basin. The information to be generated through this study will help various stakeholders to undertake appropriate conservation actions needed to halt the risk of extinction of these fish species in the wild.

The following activities will be undertaken to achieve the goal of this project are described below as per specific project objective;

Objective (a) Map the distribution pattern and quantify abundance of Oreochromis variabilis in addition to other endangered cichlid fish species throughout each satellite lake


  • Conducting systematic fish surveys on lakes Kayanja and Kayugi using gillnetting and electric fishing techniques to collect targeted fish data. The corresponding locations where targeted fish will be caught or sighted to be geo-referenced using Global Positioning System (GPS). The data collected will be quantified using standard methods to determine the population status, abundance and distribution pattern of these fish species. 
  • Generating spatial maps showing locations where  Victoria tilapia and Singidia tilapia are sighted or caught. These maps will be distributed to all stakeholders to guide them in undertaking appropriate conservation actions aimed at halting extinction of this fish species in the wild

 Objective (b) Indentify and map the spawning, breeding and nursery grounds of this fish species


  • Geo-referencing breeding and nursery habitats of these fish species using Global Positioning System (GPS). Spatial maps showing locations of the breeding and nursery habitat of these fish species will be generated and made available to all stakeholders to guide them on their day-today conservation efforts.

Objective (c) Identify and document various threats to the habitats of this fish species


  • Physical and chemical data will be collected to ascertain water quality of these lakes and relating it with the activities of local communities living within and around these lakes. Physical observations and interviews will be carried out to assess the activities of the local community that may pose threats (both natural and anthropogenic threats) to the habitat of these fish species

Objective (d) Produce conservation management recommendations


  • Basing on the outcomes of this project, practical recommendations will be written and provided to conservationist and other stakeholders to manage, conserve monitor and protect this fish species currently facing high risk of extinction in the wild.

 In general this project will contribute to the conservation of Victoria tilapia and Singidia tilapia through provision of updated information on their distribution and population status to help conservationists and other stakeholders including government agencies to undertake appropriate conservation actions needed to halt the extinction of this fish species in the wild.

Project documents