Goodeids are small live-bearing fish from Mexico. There are about 40 species, with almost certainly more to be discovered. As many of these fish are similar in appearance and typically plain colours they have not been kept by aquarists in large numbers. But in the wild each species exists over only a small area and in a country with a rapidly growing population and many environmental challenges; a single pollution incident could make them extinct. Tropiquaria has three or four species that are extinct in the wild.
This Monday Michael Koch, curator from the aquarium Haus de Meeres (Vienna) and Nigel Hunt, the UK co-ordinator for the Goodeid working group visited Tropiquaria to see their breeding success and to take some Xenotaenia resolanae fish to Vienna. This species is not yet evaluated by the IUCN but are vulnerable in the wild and very scarce within European zoos, so Tropiquaria’s fish will be used to widen the gene pool in the Viennese collection.
Tropiquaria’s zoological director Chris Moiser said, "As a small zoo we are very lucky to have Shaun [Aquarist] and to be able to support the work that he is doing with this small, interesting and threatened group of fish. This is a project which is ideal for a small zoo with a limited budget, and the enthusiasm of the staff to drive it. It is also an area where private keepers have been able to contribute significantly, and quite rightly, feel proud that they are assisting in saving highly endangered species.”
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