NANFA-- 10 aquarists scenario (was TRADING POST)

Christopher Scharpf (
Fri, 05 Nov 1999 00:55:01 -0400

BG wrote:

>Let's also say that ten aquarists all agreed to maintain the species that
>was unable to survive in their natural habitat, and ten aquarists kept the
>fish from that original biotype until it was restored to a pristine
>(hopefully) condition and all ten populations from ten aquarists were
>restored into their native habitat.

Assuming you're talking about home aquarists here, and not zoo, university and
aquarium aquarists...

Let's also say that one of these aquarists is too lazy to main an accurate
studbook and avoid inbreeding.

And let's say that two other aquarists have personal problems, or financial
problems, and fall behind on their breeding efforts and the fish die off.

And let's say another aquarist has a power failure and all his fish die.

And let's say another aquarist has a baby and can't spend much time in the fish

And let's say another aquarist goes on vacation and gives specific instructions
to his neighbor on how to feed the endangered fish, but that the neighbor
overfeeds the fish and they die.

And so on.

These are some of the reasons government agencies will never allow the private
captive breeding of endangered fishes. The risk of death, and of reducing
genetic diversity, are just far too great.

HOWEVER, private home aquarists can still play an important role in fish
conservation. And that's perfecting the husbandry and spawning techniques for
closely-related (surrogate) species. So when the time comes for a zoo or
aquarium to save, say, a barrens topminnow, there's already a largely
hobbyist-based literature and breeding protocol to draw from.

Chris Scharpf

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