NANFA-- Pseudoscaphirhynchus hermanni
Thu, 19 Dec 2002 03:38:32 EST

if an argument cannot be made to transplant the dwarf sturgeon to another
habitat surely some support must exist to keep the species alive by captive
breeding programs. This is a really small fish, many hundreds if not
thousands could be kept by zoos and aquaria with the chance of eventually
restocking it's native habitat if conditions ever improve. Other fish have
been done like this as a last ditch effort to prevent complete extinction.
This fish represents a unique time in the evolution of sturgeon when they
were not confined to being invulnerable giants but occupied other ecological
niches that didn't require them to be giants. There was a time when fish like
sturgeons dominated freshwater and teleost fish were in the minority. So much
fuss has been generated over fish like the devils hole pupfish when in fact a
great many very similar fish exist. Don't you think this fish deserves more
than a yawn and the statement that if they are meant to become extinct they
will die out and nothing can be done about it. These fish can be saved by
minimal effort (lots of red tape no doubt but not a lot of effort). Can you
imagine if one of the recently extinct species of dwarf mammoth or elephant
were found alive how much effort would go into preserving them? It's too late
for them but not too late for this unique fish. If someone decided to allow
the desert pupfish to become extinct you would be able to hear the shouting
over the whole globe (just one or two people on this list would deafen most
of North America) Are we really too complacent to even take the possibility
of the effort too much work? How many zoos and aquariums would be willing to
keep several of these fish, once they were breed, until they reached
maturity. Could (heaven forbid the thought) commercialization of these fish
save them? What are the options and how do we grease the wheels and set them
in motion? I have been keeping native fish for going on 40 years now. During
those 40 years I was paying attention most of the time (well occasionally
anyway) and I saw a great many odd things but I do know money talks and if
making money is what it takes to save Pseudoscaphirhynchus hermanni would it
be a sin? Maybe if we transplanted a fish for some reason other than pleasing
fishermen. (I don't mean to insult fishermen, I am one my self) it's three in
the morning and we all know how many mistakes are caused by late night fuzzy
logic so I'll stop for now but lets not just yawn and lay back and loose
something unique yet again.

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