Home » Large rescue effort to save arctic charr in North Wales.
Charity Climate Nature North Wales

Large rescue effort to save arctic charr in North Wales.

ARCTIC CHARR populations in North Wales are declining in response to this, conservation efforts are underway in North Wales. Led by the North Wales Rivers Trust, ’Prosiect Torgoch’ is working towards safeguarding these emblematic species and the delicate ecosystems they inhabit.

Arctic Charr, locally known as the ‘red belly’ or ‘Torgoch,’ have long been synonymous with the region’s lakes, particularly Llyn Padarn, Llyn Cwellyn, and Llyn Bodlyn within Eryri National Park. However, recent years have seen a decline in their numbers, prompting concerns among conservationists and local communities alike.

“Prosiect Torgoch,” spearheaded by the North Wales Rivers Trust and funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund, aims to help protect these iconic species through habitat restoration, research and community awareness.

Dr. Antony Smith, lead researcher of Project Torgoch, outlines the importance of the project stating, “The decline in Arctic charr populations is not merely a statistical trend but a concerning reflection of broader ecological challenges facing Welsh
lakes and rivers.”

Factors such as habitat degradation, nutrient enrichment, human interaction, and climate change have all contributed to the declining state of these species.

Efforts to address these issues are multifaceted. The project aims to reduce nutrient inputs into Arctic Charr lakes, mitigate habitat degradation, and engage with local stakeholders for better land management practices. By collaborating with landowners, farmers, and community volunteers, Project Torgoch seeks to create a more sustainable future where Arctic Charr can start to breed naturally again alongside other aquatic species.

Engagement with the local community lies at the heart of this project. Volunteers are being recruited to participate in citizen science activities such as snorkel surveys, water quality monitoring, and educational outreach programs. By raising awareness
about the significance of Arctic Charr in Welsh ecosystems, the project aims to garner widespread support for conservation efforts.

Dr. Smith told the Herald: “Protecting Arctic Charr populations isn’t just about saving a single species; it’s about preserving the integrity of entire ecosystems.

“By safeguarding these iconic fish, we ensure the provision of essential ecosystem services and recreational
opportunities for generations to come.”