alexa Conservation and conflict between endangered desert fishes
Environmental Sciences

Environmental Sciences

Journal of Biodiversity & Endangered Species

Author(s): Jennifer M Gumm, Jennifer L Snekser, Murray Itzkowitz

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Conservation of naturally sympatric endangered species requires unique considerations. While impacts of invasive species garner much atten- tion, interactions between endangered species must also be managed. The endangered Leon Springs pupfish, Cyprinodon bovinus , has suf- fered a population decline due to decreasing natural habitat. As breeding habitat is lost, C. bovinus isalsoadverselyaffectedbythe sympatric, endangered Pecos gambusia, Gambu- sia nobilis . Here, we document interactions between these species, finding significantly more G. nobilis accumulatedatpupfishspawning events than randomly distributed on breeding grounds in the absence of spawning. As a known egg predator, our results suggest that G. nobilis presence at spawnings may further decrease pupfish numbers while also altering the evolu- tionary dynamics of C. bovinus breeding tactics. Habitat restoration may decrease Gambusia concentrations or influence C. bovinus breeding behaviour and increase the number of territorial males resulting in viable population sizes for both critically endangered fishes.

This article was published in BiolLett and referenced in Journal of Biodiversity & Endangered Species

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