Target: Dan Ashe, Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Goal: Applaud efforts to save the incredibly rare Devils Hole pupfish from extinction
The Devils Hole pupfish is one of the rarest, most endangered species on Earth. An April, 2013 census found that just over 30 of these fish were still alive in the wild. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) needs to be applauded for its continued efforts to save this beautiful fish from extinction.
The Devils Hole pupfish is incredibly small, measuring only an inch in length, but it is also incredibly beautiful, its iridescent cobalt blue color rendering it a marvel to see. Unfortunately, this species has been in danger of extinction and federally protected since 1967, mainly because its natural habitat consists of rather extreme conditions: the pupfish lives only in the Mojave Desert’s Devils Hole aquifer in waters that are 93 degrees, a temperature that would kill most fish.
Fortunately, steps have been taken to help the Devils Hole pupfish survive. Scientists now regularly feed the pupfish in its home waters, and they have also placed artificial plants into the Devils Hole aquifer to provide young pupfish more places to hide, greatly increasing their chances for survival. In addition, the FWS has dedicated over $150,000 to create a captive population of pupfish in a laboratory habitat that uses actual water from Devils Hole and mimics its extreme conditions. If the native population does go extinct, the captive population can be used to reestablish the species in the wild.
It looks like these steps may have paid off, as a recent 2014 census found nearly 100 pupfish alive and well in Devils Hole. With continued efforts and aid, the native Devils Hole pupfish population may grow into the thousands. Please sign the petition below to let the FWS know that you appreciate its work to save the beautiful pupfish.
Dear Mr. Ashe,
I was heartened to read that a recent 2014 count found nearly 100 Devils Hole pupfish currently living in the Devils Hole aquifer in the Mojave Desert. This news is especially encouraging because a count in 2013 found only 30 or so pupfish living there. This species has been in danger of becoming extinct for decades, and has been federally protected since 1967. This species only exists in the Devils Hole habitat, which consists of 93 degree waters, a tough environment for fish to live in. The increase in population is most likely a result of scientists feeding the fish on a regular basis as well as introducing artificial plants into Devils Hole, which young pupfish can use as hiding places so they do not get eaten by older pupfish.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also dedicated $153,00 to be used in the creation of a captive population of Devils Hole pupfish, which can be placed in the actual aquifer at some future point. Thank you for all the work you have done helping save the Devils Hole pupfish from extinction. Your work is appreciated.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Olin Feuerbacher at Wikimedia Commons