Select Aquatics of Erie CO.
    What are Endangered Fish, and Why Should I Keep Them?


                       Ameca splendens, Characodon lateralis, Xenotoca doadrioi,
                    Xenotoca lyonsi, and Zoogoneticus tequila are the fish currently
                      offered by Select Aquatics that are endangered or extinct in
                                                           the wild.



     The Endangered Species Act applies only to species within the U.S., and criteria specified by that
    act used to determine the threatened or endangered status of a species can be applied to some of
    the fish found at this site.

    Because most of these fish are indigenous to Mexico (though being kept by fishkeepers in the U.S.)
    the terms that hobbyists use taken from the Endangered Species Act do not carry the legal
    consequences that apply to U.S. species covered by the act. Where we would be restricted from
    keeping a U.S. species that has been listed, Mexico does not involve itself in our keeping fish
    indigenous to Mexico. At the same time, those in Mexico trying to protect or save species facing
    extinction benefit and appreciate our efforts.

    The destruction of natural habitat through land development in Mexico, particularly when needed
    for economic growth, rarely concedes to a species confined to an isolated area facing destruction,
    and efforts to transplant a declining species following years of evolution at a specific location are
    rarely successful. In fact, there has yet to be a successful reintroduction of any of these fish back
    to the wild. In an effort to identify the species facing greatest need, scientists and hobbyists
    designate species as Threatened, Endangered, Critically Endangered or Extinct in the Wild.
    Of course, no one is truly omniscient and knows whether a species is truly nonexistent. Because of
    this, these terms are not used lightly, and are carefully based on accumulated evidence.
    (See current Goodeid designations by Dr. John Lyons here)

    Never is a term attached because it was convenient for a researcher, or because genuine diligence
    was not followed. Some hobbyists believe that our being able to determine whether a fish is extinct
    is not possible. Fish do go extinct, and many of the fish on this website are predicted to soon
    disappear. My goal is to assist conservation efforts before that happens, maintaining some of these
    species with other hobbyists, contributing in my own small way toward their continued existence.
    We can only hope that the scientists and collectors may be mistaken. But if they are correct,
    to do nothing may guarantee their extinction. Each of the fish to the left are species have become
    extremely rare and nearly if not entirely impossible to find in the wild. If you breed out these fish,
    particularly the Z. tequila, and wish to share your excess stock with other hobbyists or those interested
    in continuing the effort, please email me at , and I may buy some back
    from you or connect you to others that may take them and continue to build their numbers.

    Universities routinely turn to hobbyists for stocks of these fish, and many of the collections at noted
    aquariums and scientific research facilities originally came from hobbyists. As an example, I have
    been honored to provide many of the fish offered at this site to a noted university here in Colorado,
    where they have been used for mate selection and genetic geographic studies to better determine
    species evolution and development. Unfortunately, with very few exceptions, each of the factors
    contributing to the declines of these species were as a result of man's influence. Though we
    personally have had nothing to do with the actions that created the situation these species are in,
    we can still obtain them, reproduce and preserve them to as close a state to their wild form as the
    artificial confines of an aquarium allows. Because of this, information now being collected 
    regarding their reproduction, behaviors and possible value to medical science can continue to be

    There are not nearly enough hobbyists today that have chosen to keep these fish, possibly because
    most do not realize that the opportunity exists for them to contribute to the actual survival of a species.

    Do not feel that if you were to try any of these rarer fish that they may die, and that you should not make
    the effort. We all lose fish. I went through 6 trios of the Z. tequila over about 3 years before I found this
    particularly hardy line that liked my water and the way the room is run. Today I have sold or given away
    hundreds of them and continue to do so. We share these fish with others out of trust that whoever
    gets them will do their best to keep the fish doing well, and it is understood that it may take a few tries
    for those who are really serious about keeping them. If you decide to keep one of the rare or
    endangered fish found at this site, first read what you can in books you own, the care of new arrivals in
    Receiving Shipped Fish, and what may be posted on the internet, then set up a tank and call me!

    So why can't we just raise them up and reintroduce them?

    This is the question asked most often, and here is the basic answer. Population decline occurs as
    the result of factors that often cannot be easily reversed. The introduction of a food or sport fish to a
    location currently inhabited by a smaller indigenous species can have disastrous consequences for
    the smaller fish. They do not posses the defenses or evolutionary adaptations to survive the predation
    or introduced diseases from a non-native species. Often the attempted reintroduction of a species into
    a former habitat requires the large scale poisoning of an entire body of water to first destroy everything
    else, and even then the efforts have been unsuccessful. In many cases, due to land development and
    other man-made factors (One is global warming, which is not yet fully understood regarding the 
    influence it will have on some of these fish), the actual body of water and conditions they evolved in 
    may no longer exist.

    There are also some species we are just catching a glimpse of that may not be rare, but are new to
    science such as the "Tiger Limia".

    Many species are rare or extinct in the wild, yet well represented in the hobby. Chapalichthys
    pardalis was offered here- a species that is critically endangered in the wild, but has become
    so widely available in the hobby that they did not sell, and were dropped. In your local pet shop
    the white cloud minnow and the cherry barb are both highly endangered in the wild, but have
    been bred in the commercial hobby such that they exist today in very large numbers.
    But there are a number of livebearer species in real danger of disappearing, and we
    will seek out those desired in the hobby and make every effort to provide a resource for them
    for those who wish to keep them.







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