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Arizona Game Fish Department Safe Harbor Agreement for Topminnow and Pupfish Signed
Southwest Region, March 11, 2008
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A Safe Harvor Agreement with Arizona Game and Fish Department was signed on March 11, 2008.  The Safe Harbor Agreement provides for actions that promote conservation and recovery of the endangered Gila topminnow, desert pupfish, Yaqui topminnow, and Quitobaquito pupfish by providing refuge sites, and possibly recovery sites.  These small, native fishes, now listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, were once far more widespread than they are now.  In fact, the Gila topminnow was once considered the most common fish in the Gila River basin.  The SHA will enable these fish to be released into aquatic habitats within the species’ historical ranges on non-Federal lands, if they meet certain minimum standards.  The AGFD will hold the permit, and the landowners will be covered by the permit when they sign a Certificate of Inclusion.  The SHA will allow the fish to be removed from the property at any time, at the landowners discretion.  The availability of fish for release may not meet initial demand, because there are few sites that contain large numbers of either topminnow or pupfish.  As sites are added, additional fish will become available for release into other locations.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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