Fish Found Only In Arizona, New Mexico Gains Endangered Species Act Protection
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— Following an agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity to speed decisions for protection of 757 imperiled species across the country, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today protected the Zuni bluehead sucker under the Endangered Species Act. The small fish is found only in the Little Colorado River watershed in Arizona and New Mexico. It was once common but has been lost from more than 90 percent of its range over the past 20 years.
“This is great news not only for this special arid-lands fish but for the health of the Little Colorado River,” said Michael Robinson, a conservation advocate with the Center. “Protecting the Zuni bluehead sucker will help to protect the river’s headwaters from the water withdrawals that played a major role in pushing this fish to the brink of extinction, as well as guard against new threats such as development.”
The Center petitioned for federal protection for the fish in 2004. It was first identified as being in need of federal protection in 1985. Suckers require clean, permanently flowing water and cannot reproduce in polluted water because silt covers and suffocates their eggs.
Learn about our 757 species agreement.
Contact: Michael Robinson
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Banner photo © Paul S. Hamilton; Zuni bluehead sucker courtesy New Mexico Department of Fish and Game
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