Re: NANFA-- Bluenose shiner news

Jeffrey Fullerton (
Sat, 20 Sep 2003 11:00:34 -0400

> If we released aquarium fish like zebra
> danios back into the wild they would not necessarily compete like their wild
> cousins.
Are you sure about that?
The bane of invasive exotics suggests otherwise. Most species are fairly
flexible and can adapt to conditions that are different than the
origional biotype. If it's a fish that comes from an isolated spring or
pool and that habitat was reclaimed and restored to a healthy state
chances are good that the population would rebound and eventually revert
back to the origional form just like goldfish revert back to the drab
wild type when they become established in the wild.

As for artificial refugia- it would not be that difficult to build them
or reclaim old barrow pits and quarry holes and introduce species that
live in still water habitats. You could maintain lots of viable
populations that way. Actually they would maintain themselves pretty
much. This is sort of like a colony tank approach that I read about in
an recent issue of an aquarium magazine. A much larger population that
most captive breeding programs using glass aquariums and random mating
which maintains a greater degree of genetic diversity.

There was a project started in Illinois that I learned about at the 1999
Convention at Champaign-Urbana where a refugium was created using two
ponds which were cleared of existing fish life- mainly staple stocked
fishes like blugills etc and restocked with some state listed species-
two shiners, Iowa Darters and Western Banded Killifish. It's been a
while so I think I will follow up on the progress of that project and
report back to the list.

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