Scientists upset: Pupfish face extinction

February 6, 2006

Scientists say iridescent blue pupfish living at Devil's Hole, a remote Mojave Desert rock outcropping, might become extinct within another year.

In an incident two years ago -- not publicly announced -- scientists accidentally killed 80 of the fish, which was about a third of the population at the time, The Los Angeles Times reported Monday. Fewer than 80 of the inch-long fish -- among the rarest species in the world -- are in a small, deep pool that's part of the Death Valley National Monument.

A federal recovery team is to meet Thursday in Las Vegas to consider emergency options, including capturing fish, breeding them elsewhere and then restocking Devil's Hole with the offspring, or just leaving the site alone in hopes the fish can rebound without human help, the Times reported.

Carl Hubbs, known as the father of Western ichthyology, named the fish that have survived since the ice age because they play like puppies, nipping at each other's tails.

The "hole" is a large pool 10 feet across and 70 feet long. Divers have ventured down 468 feet without reaching the bottom, the newspaper said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Examining the fate of Fukushima contaminants

Related Stories

Examining the fate of Fukushima contaminants

August 18, 2015

An international research team reports results of a three-year study of sediment samples collected offshore from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in a new paper published August 18, 2015, in the American Chemical ...

Shark's unique trek could help save the species

July 5, 2015

Her name is Jiffy Lube2, a relatively small shortfin mako shark that, like others of her kind, swims long distances every day in search of prey and comfortable water temperatures.

Under-ice rover chills with fish at aquatic exhibit

June 26, 2015

A school of sardines fluttered by as giant leafy kelp swayed back and forth at the California Science Center in Los Angeles on Monday, June 22. At the bottom of this 188,000-gallon aquatic tank, a bright orange garibaldi ...

Be a responsible camper

May 4, 2015

When you camp out, take steps to reduce your impact on the environment, experts advise.

Recommended for you

New Horizons team selects potential Kuiper Belt flyby target

August 29, 2015

NASA has selected the potential next destination for the New Horizons mission to visit after its historic July 14 flyby of the Pluto system. The destination is a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) known as 2014 MU69 that orbits ...

Interactive tool lifts veil on the cost of nuclear energy

August 24, 2015

Despite the ever-changing landscape of energy economics, subject to the influence of new technologies and geopolitics, a new tool promises to root discussions about the cost of nuclear energy in hard evidence rather than ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.