Species Maintenance Program Arrives

After many years of trying, a species maintenance program has arrived here at the CAS club. This program has no rewards, no points to gather, no plaques or certificates to give out. It is purely for aquarists who care about the fish that they raise especially ones that are being threatened or stressed out from mankind’s stupidity (i.e. pollution).

Every other month we see or hear of fish, plants and animals that are being put on endangered lists or even extinction lists. Even though we here in Calgary tend to think of ourselves as being landlubbers many club members have fish in our tanks that qualify for this program. How many of you have fish from Mexico, Africa or the Amazon, for instance? All of these areas have way too many fish on these lists. Fish such as: most goodeid species (Ameca splendens, Characodon audax) or swordtails (Xiphophorous clemenciae, Xiphophorous montezumae) from Mexico; many tetras from the Amazon basin, or many cichlids from the African lakes. Take a minute, go look in your tanks and make a list of your fish and I bet you’ll be surprised at how many qualify. This is why this type of program fits well into the CAS club and why it is so important.

We hope that more clubs around North America will also set up a similar program. Maybe this could lead to a registry of endangered species somewhere like at FAAS or CAOAC here in Canada. This way if mankind finally gets intelligent and quits destroying Mother Nature, then we as aquarists can donate our stock back to Mother Nature free of charge to help re-populate the original lakes and streams that we collected them from. This is one of the main reasons for this program – we do this out of the goodness of our hearts and not for rewards.

So now that that is out of my system, how is this going to work here in Calgary you say? Well, I will be the coordinator of this program and the idea is for you to call me, e-mail me, grab me at a meeting (not too hard, OK?) and give me your list of fish that you think is on one of these lists. Now I cannot keep up with all of the info being published or updates to these lists, so I ask that you provide me with some documentation that states or proves that this fish you have indeed been put on a list. I will keep a running tab of who has what and try to publish it in The Calquarium so others can also know. If one of our members, or a member from another club, is having difficulty raising or keeping a species, than I will provide them with this data base and telephone numbers when requested so they can exchange information or even trade stock to keep the blood lines strong.

I hope that this will be the start of a long-term project here at the CAS with the benefits of knowing that we are trying to help Mother Nature the rewards. I already have interest from the high school science classes in Calgary and am working with a member/teacher to get this under way soon.

To start things off, I will list my species that I know are currently on the threatened list: Xiphophorous clemenciae; Ameca splendens; Gambusia affinis; Characodon audax; Zoogoneticus quitzeoensis, and Ilyodon furcidens. There are others that I know of so see if you have these: Xiphophorous montezumae; all other Gambusia species; Jordanella floridae; all pupfish from Texas; all wild platies such as Xiphophorous couchianus and Xiphophorous gordinae; and almost all other wild Xiphophorous swords such as pygmaeus. As you can see Mexico and South America are certainly on the fast track to ruin.

So if you would like to help or participate I can be reached at work (403) 220-8905, Home (403) 946-5921 (after 7PM) or e-mail marentet@acs.ucalgary.ca. ?