June 13, 2011
Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems - early view
- Choosing an optimal strategy to sustain imperilled wild populations is challenging, and many methods may be implemented before reaching an effective strategy. A review of previous conservation efforts used to maintain an endangered desert pupfish (Cyprinidon bovinus) are presented here.
- Conservation strategies for C. bovinus have included removal of fish hybridizing with a non-native species, reintroduction of captive-bred C. bovinus into their historic range, and habitat restoration and expansion. In general, these methods have successfully increased the C. bovinus population over a 15-year period, with habitat expansion appearing to be the most critical intervention method.
- Habitat restorations that increased the available breeding habitat for C. bovinus and the total number of breeding males were also associated with a downward trend in individual male reproductive behaviour.
- Since habitat expansion resulted in unexpected consequences for reproductive ecology, it emphasizes the importance not only of monitoring species abundance but also of evaluating individual reproductive behaviour when implementing conservation strategies.
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