So what’s next?
Individuals released into the wild are tagged with a non-toxic elastomer before release and will be monitored for the next five years. This assesses whether the population is increasing and whether the fish are reproducing and growing successfully in their natural habitat.
Conservationists hope that the fish released on 4 November will ultimately result in a healthy, self-sustaining population taking hold. Then the species can fulfil its important natural role in the ecosystem of eating algae and mosquito larvae, helping to keep populations of those species in check.
SHOAL is currently working with the University of Michoacan, Chester Zoo, the Goodeid Working Group and a host of other organisations on a conservation plan for each of the threatened Mexican goodeids. If the success of the tequila splitfin reintroduction and the predictions for a successful golden skiffia project are anything to go by, there is good reason to believe this collaborative, interdisciplinary conservation programme will bring these goodeid species back from the brink of extinction.
This project has been made possible…
…by generous funding and support from ZooParc de Beauval, Wilhelma Zoo, Haus des Meers Aquarium, Zoo Ostrava, Poecilia Scandinavia, American Livebearer Association, Mohamed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations (Zoologische Gesellschaft für Arten- und Populationsschutz – ZGAP), European Union of Aquarium Curators and The Fishmongers’ Company.