Re: NANFA-- Move on to reestablish rare pygmy madtom
Tue, 17 Oct 2000 21:57:01 EDT

In a message dated 10/17/00 7:51:03 AM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

<< I hate to be the gloom'n'doom pessimist, but I disagree that the recent
welcome!) good news about the Miller Lake lamprey and pygmy madtom is "making
the future look brighter for native fishes." These are certainly bright
but the bitter truth remains: we are continuing to lose our freshwater
ecosystems and their diversity at an unprecedented rate.

Richard, I know that the intent of your post was not to suggest that things
better than what they really are. I just want to make the point that we're
bombarded with so much bad enviromental news that we tend to filter it out
overemphasize the good news that occasionally trickles through. So, let's
celebrate these rare and isolated moments of good news for what they are --
and isolated moments -- but not let them cloud or influence our perception of
how bleak conditions are for fishes, mollusks, amphibians, and other
organisms. >>

Yeah, I overgeneralised too much by saying that the future looked brighter
for native fishes. I should have stated that things look a little better than
they did formerly because of these incidents. I think that it is likely that
more "extinct" species will be found; that said, we will probably lose some
more species not yet extinct. The ones which I think will be "rediscovered"
will probably be secretive ones and rarely seen ones like madtoms or
lampreys. In the meantime, we will probably lose some more species due to
habitat destruction, global warming, pollution, and other symptoms of human
overpopulation. In fact, my views on the future prospects for native fish
species survival are probably closer to Larry Page's in that he says in
dealing with environmental problems we're merely dealing with the symptoms of
a bigger problem, human overpopulation. So you can probably call me a fellow
gloom 'n' doom pessimist as well. However, at the same time, I feel that I
can take the instances of species previously thought by some as extinct being
rediscovered as an encouraging sign, in the face of some overwhelming odds
against native fishes in general.

<< Yes, that is cool! And I experienced this coolness first hand when I
J.R.'s facility in Knoxville last month. Those pygmy madtoms are adorable. And
"J.R.'s Ark" is a wonder to behold! But I'm sure J.R. would agree that it's
cooler to see healthy populations of fishes in their native habitats, and
them breed not in hatcheries or fish tanks, but in the wild where they belong.
That's what J.R.'s working towards. That's what we should ALL be working

Definitely; I'm certainly not suggesting that artificial propagation a
hatchery is any substitute for thriving wild populations in their
natural,undegraded habitat.It is a last-ditch effort, and one of the things
you do when there are no alternatives left. It is cool that there are at
least SOME to return there when J.R. thinks that they're ready, rather than
them being extinct, before anyone had a chance of possbly doing something to
prevent their extinction.

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