Author(s): Gumm JM, Snekser JL, Itzkowitz M
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Abstract Conservation of naturally sympatric endangered species requires unique considerations. While impacts of invasive species garner much attention, interactions between endangered species must also be managed. The endangered Leon Springs pupfish, Cyprinodon bovinus, has suffered a population decline due to decreasing natural habitat. As breeding habitat is lost, C. bovinus is also adversely affected by the sympatric, endangered Pecos gambusia, Gambusia nobilis. Here, we document interactions between these species, finding significantly more G. nobilis accumulated at pupfish spawning 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 evolutionary 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 Biol Lett
and referenced in Journal of Biodiversity & Endangered Species