Some may well ask how it is possible to keep wild fish and support conservation. It’s a fair question and one that deserves an answer. Many of the currently described killifish species are only known to science because of aquarists, who have travelled out to remote locations to collect them. Without knowing that a species exists it is not possible to conserve it and aquarists have contributed extensively to the scientific knowledge about these beautiful fish. They often return to those same areas in subsequent years to monitor how the habitats are coping. Aquarists also support many individual conservation projects in particular areas.
As we now know the effectiveness of such small projects can be limited, but collectively we can still make a difference. So, we are looking to increase awareness of conservation within the fishkeeping hobby to make it more sustainable and help ensure the survival of many of the over 1,000 killifish species in existence. Conservation and restoration of habitats is crucial, but where this isn’t immediately possible Killifish Associations hope that they can at least preserve captive populations so that future re-stocking is at least possible. Co-ordinating that effort with scientists, conservation organisations and public aquaria can help raise the profile of these small fish species.
Killifish are little gems found across much of Africa, The Americas and even southern Europe and Asia. They are deserving of our protection, as much as land animals.
To get an idea of how colourful they are, why not visit these two excellent sites:
http://www.itrainsfishes.net/content and http://www.itrainsfishes.net/content/. Run by people who collect, document and even describe new species. It’s a fascinating world, and another astonishing part of the Shoal.