New hope for endangered pupfish
The first ever captive management programme for five endangered species of freshwater fish in Turkey is already proving to be a success.
Scientists from ZSL travelled to the Anatolian lakes region to collect some threatened pupfish with a team of seven colleagues from Doğa Derneği, Faruk Yaçin Zoo in Istanbul and Hacettepe University in Ankara. The expedition was organised after a previous trip discovered how precarious the species’ survival in the wild has become.
More than 300 pupfish were transported safely back to the zoo in Istanbul and acclimatized to eight specially designed safe, high quality aquariums and are now beginning to breed.
ZSL’s Aquarium Curator Brian Zimmerman said: "The Acigöl pupfish, Aphanius transgrediens, are the first of the five species collected in Turkey to breed at Faruk Yalcin Zoo in Istanbul. With a dozen new fry hatching in the specially designed systems, there is new hope for the Critically Endangered species. When ZSL joined our Fish Net partners in Turkey this October, only small numbers of Acigöl pupfish were found in the small springs feeding into the lake. The last few survivors were outnumbered by the introduced mosquitofish by 100 to one. The mosquitofish is an invasive species throughout the Mediterranean and threatens a number of native species including the Acigöl pupfish through competiton. The newly established population of Acigöl pupfish in Istanbul adds to the network of zoos and aquariums working with this species. Only ZSL London Zoo and Zoo Vienna also hold populations."