Endangered Desert pupfish Mother Nature’s surprise

‘A new population of the endangered Desert pupfish Cyprinodon macularius, smallest and oldest of the evolved forms of the Death Valley pupfishes has mysteriously appeared in man-made research ponds in Salton Sea, California. Many of the over 1000 specimens are juveniles, which has lead scientists to infer that substantial breeding is going on in the ponds.” However in Devil’s Hole the numbers continue to decline.death_valley_pupfish_spawning_in_salt_creek2

Good news for Desert Pupfish John Lynch  July 4, 2007

The United States Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service formed a Recovery Team for Devil’s Hole to promote the acquisition of lands in Ash Meadows where this endangered fish lives. Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, established June 18, 1984, is located approximately 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas in the Amargosa Valley of southern Nye County, Nevada. To date, over 22,000 acres of spring-fed wetlands and alkaline desert uplands are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The refuge provides habitat for at least 24 plants and animals found nowhere else in the world. Four fish and one plant are currently listed as endangered. scenic1

This refuge insure the continued existence of the Devil’s Hole pupfish and the more than 30 other unique fishes, plants, and invertebrates of Ash Meadows.

The female pupfish is colored yellowish-brown along the back. There is a dark edge on the dorsal fin and a vague dark bar through the area just in front of the tail fin. As with all pupfish, the sexes of this species are differently colored. The sides of the breeding male are blue and iridescent, the back is brownish to silver, and the gill covers are violet. Young fish resemble the females. Currently in Devil’s Hole the population continues to decline with only 38 remaining.

excerpts from http://www.nativefish.org/articles/pupfish.php


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