- Photo credit: @Michal Grabowski
- Perccottus glenii
- Common Names: Amur sleeper, Chinese sleeper
- Habitat: Freshwater ponds, canals, rivers, floodplains, fish ponds, gravel pits
- Description: The Amur sleeper is a small, streamlined fish, native to North Korea and far eastern Russia.
- Origin and Worldwide Distribution: The Amur sleeper is a small, streamlined fish, native to North Korea and far eastern Russia.It is now one of the most widespread and successful invasive fish species in European inland waters, especially in ponds in Eastern Europe and in large parts of the Danube, the Vistula and other river basins.The species is currently present in Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
- Potential or Known Impacts: The Amur sleeper is a voracious predator. It can have a significant negative impact on native aquatic species, especially amphibians and other freshwater fish, not only through competition for food and predation but also possibly through the transmission of diseases and the disruption of the food chain.
- How did it/could it get here? The Amur sleeper was kept in aquaria and used as live bait, so intentional and unintentional releases were occurring frequently.Stowaway individuals in consignments of other fish species is probably the most important pathway of introduction and spread.
- Is it found in Ireland or Northern Ireland? Not present in Ireland or Northern Ireland.
- Methods for Prevention: Given the difficulties and the costs associated with eradicating or controlling this species, management of potential pathways and the rapid eradication of any newly emerging populations should prevent the species from spreading into yet unaffected water bodies. Stowaway individuals in consignments of other fish species is probably the most important pathway of introduction and spread.
- Current Legislative Position (Listed on 03 August 2016) This species must not intentionally be brought into the Union; kept; bred; transported to, from or within the United Kingdom, unless for the transportation to facilities in the context of eradication; placed on the market; used or exchanged; permitted to reproduce, grown or cultivated; or released into the environment.For further queries, you can contact the Non Native Invasive Species Team in the Northern Ireland Environment Agency on 028 9056 9558.