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Nevada Fish & Wildlife Office
Pacific Southwest Region
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Devils Hole Pupfish

Recovery Actions, May 19, 2006

Regional Managers from the National Park Service, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Nevada Department of Wildlife gave approval to move Devils Hole pupfish from Devils Hole and Hoover Dam Refuge to Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas and to the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery in Arizona on Thursday, May 18, 2006.

Agencies moved four adult pupfish early Thursday morning to Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay and five post-larvae (7-9 mm) pupfish late Thursday to Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery as part of the second step to establish Devils Hole pupfish in aquaria. "Everything looks good this morning and the transfer of the Devils Hole pupfish appears to be successful. The pupfish have acclimated to their new environment and are feeding well," said Bob Williams, Field Supervisor for the Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office and Devils Hole pupfish spokesperson."

In early May, the agencies moved hybridized Devils Hole pupfish from the Point of Rocks Refuge to establish transportation protocols and to ensure that appropriate propagation techniques were established before moving the genetically pure Devils Hole pupfish to the facilities. Earlier this week, biologists from Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay confirmed the first successful hatching of hybridized Devils Hole pupfish at the aquarium.

"We have had some mortality in adult hybridized fish at both facilities over the past two weeks. However, we feel our experiments with the hybridized fish have been successful and we now have better information on how to successfully capture, transfer, and propagate Devils Hole pupfish in a captive environment," said Williams.

"Regional and local managers had significant deliberations before deciding to move to the next step. We are optimistically cautious that we will be successful as we begin rearing pure Devils Hole pupfish in a captive setting," Williams said.

Of the four adult pupfish that were transported to the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay, two male pupfish were captured from Devils Hole and two female pupfish came from the Hoover Dam Refuge. Recovery Team members recommended moving male pupfish from Devils Hole in order to maintain genetic diversity by mating them with female pupfish from Hoover Dam. The Team agreed that moving the adult female pupfish from Hoover Dam Refuge and adult male pupfish and post-larvae from Devils Hole would not adversely affect the refuge nor the wild populations.

Status Update:

5/19/06 - Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay: Successful hatching of the hybridized Devils Hole Pupfish confirmed.

 

Last updated: September 28, 2012