NANFA-L-- FW: Desert pupfish story from the L.A. Times

Nick Zarlinga (njz-in-clevelandmetroparks.com)
Tue, 22 Mar 2005 17:16:51 -0500

For those interested.

Nick Zarlinga
Aquarium Biologist
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
216.661.6500 ext 4485

><)> -----Original Message-----
><)> From: Jeffrey Caldwell [ecosys-in-neteze.com]
><)> Sent: Tuesday, March 22, 2005 4:25 PM
><)> To: Nick Zarlinga
><)> Subject: Desert pupfish story from the L.A. Times
><)>
><)>
><)> I think you may know some fish people who would
><)> find this interesting ...
><)>
><)> > March 22, 2005
><)> >
><)> > MIGRATIONS
><)> > Pupfish can take the heat
><)> > By Janet Cromley
><)> > Thousands of flower peepers have been tromping
><)> through Death Valley
><)> > National Park since February in search of record blooms.
><)> >
><)> > But there's another boom in progress: the desert pupfish.
><)> >
><)> > Depending on the species, pupfish range in size
><)> from 1 to 2 1/2 inches
><)> > and can survive in water that exceeds 100
><)> degrees and is saltier than
><)> > seawater, though they've even been known to
><)> adapt to freshwater.
><)> >
><)> > Over thousands of years, this amazingly adaptive
><)> fish has evolved into
><)> > five separate species-in-the park including
><)> one that boasts the
><)> > smallest natural habitat of any vertebrate in
><)> the world. "The Devil's
><)> > Hole pupfish lives its entire life in a cave
><)> entrance," says park ranger
><)> > Terry Baldino. "It gets limited sun and food but
><)> has existed there for
><)> > thousands of years."
><)> >
><)> > The park is also home to the Cottonball Marsh
><)> pupfish, a threatened
><)> > species that survives in water up to six times
><)> saltier than seawater.
><)> > Another species, the Salt Creek pupfish, which
><)> swim in marshes just
><)> > north of Furnace Creek, is enjoying the peak of
><)> its brief mating season.
><)> >
><)> > "Right now is the time to see them because
><)> they're very active," says
><)> > Baldino. During its spawning season, the male
><)> pupfish turns bright blue
><)> > and puts on a frantic acrobatic display to drive
><)> off rival suitors. But
><)> > the spectacle may end well before the flowers
><)> fade. In a few weeks, when
><)> > temperatures skyrocket, the stream will
><)> disappear and the adult
><)> > population will dwindle.
><)> >
><)> > If you miss the Salt Creek mating season, a good
><)> place to see the fish
><)> > year-round is-in-Crystal Spring in Ash Meadows
><)> National Wildlife Refuge,
><)> > just east of Death Valley over the Nevada
><)> border. For more information,
><)> > go to http://www.nps.gov/deva/ or
><)> desertcomplex.fws.gov/ashmeadows/.
><)> >
><)> > Other pupfish hangouts past and present include
><)> an artificial pond at
><)> > Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, the Coachella
><)> Valley Preserve, Dos
><)> > Palmas Oasis preserve near Indio and the Living
><)> Desert Zoo & Gardens
><)> > near Palm Desert.
><)> >
><)> > Janet Cromley
><)>
><)>
><)>
><)>

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