Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Draft Devils River Minnow Plan Out for Public Comment
Southwest Region, February 23, 2005
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A draft of the Recovery Plan for the Devils River minnow (dionda diaboli)was released for public review and comment February 23, 2005. The species was listed as threatened in 1999 under the Endangered Species Act and is also listed as threatened by the State of Texas.

The Recovery Plan identifies specific, voluntary actions that will help recover the fish so it may be removed from the list of threatened and endangered species. Objectives and criteria for delisting the species are spelled out. In addition, the fish's status and current management practices are noted.

This small fish is known to occur in three streams in Val Verde and Kinney counties, Texas, all tributaries to the Rio Grande: Devils River, San Felipe Creek, and Pinto Creek. It also occurs in the Río Salado drainage in Chihuahua, Mexico. The current status of the species in Sycamore Creek, Texas, and in the Río Salado drainage in Mexico is not known. The species was once found in the lower portions of the Devils River (now Amistad Reservoir in Val Verde County), Las Moras Creek (Kinney County), and from the Río San Carlos (Mexico) but is no longer believed to be there.

Proposed recovery actions include: (1) to maintain and enhance Devils River minnow populations and habitats range-wide; (2) to establish additional Devils River minnow populations within the historic range, specifically in Las Moras Creek; and (3) to maintain genetic reserves of Devils River minnow through captive propagation.

The Devils River minnow depends on the constant clean flow of spring waters and is put at extreme risk by habitat loss and degradation caused by spring flow declines, water pollution and impacts from introduced non-native species.

Since the fish was listed, the Service has been working closely with Texas Parks and Wildlife, the City of Del Rio and private landowners to implement voluntary conservation measures and to develop conservation strategies that are included in the draft Recovery Plan.

The Service uses a priority system for recovery of listed species with a range of 1 to 18, with 1 ranking as highest. The Devils River minnow has a recovery priority of two, which indicates that Devils River minnow is a species with a high degree of threat yet has high recovery potential. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is asking the public to review and comment on the Draft Recovery Plan. The deadline for providing comments is April 11.

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