Updated: January 10, 2022 10:08:46 am
In 2003, marine experts thought that tequila fish (Zoogoneticus tequila) had completely disappeared from the ocean. This was credited to pollution and invasion of other exotic species in foreign waters.
However, thanks to the sustained conservation efforts of Chester zoo and experts at the Michoacana University of Mexico, the small fish species have been reintroduced to the wild.
In 1998, the Michoacana University of Mexico was given 10 fish from Chester Zoo. They were eventually released into an artificial pond where they spawned and formed colonies under the care of the university staff. After a few years this number grew into thousands, until it was decided that 1,500 of these fish would be returned to the Teuchitlán River in southwest Mexico, where the Tequila fish population is now thriving.
Mr Gerardo, the Curator of Lower Vertebrates and Invertebrates at the Chester zoo, said, “Following years of hard work by our partners at the Michoacana University of Mexico, the wild population is, thankfully, now thriving – they’re breeding naturally at a tremendous rate. It very much goes to show that animals can re-adapt to the wild when reintroduced at the right time and in the right environments. Our mission is to prevent extinction and that’s exactly what we’ve done here.”
— WendyFry (@WendyFry_) January 3, 2022
This project was acknowledged as a case study for successful species conservation planning by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Following the blueprint of this project, scientists are now trying to save other endangered fishes like the golden skiffia.
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