Mexico's Tequila Fish, Once Close to Extinction, Are Thriving Again

Mexico’s Tequila Fish, Once Close to Extinction, Are Thriving Again

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Tequila fish have been reintroduced to a river in Jalisco. (Photo: Twitter/@@NHCupboard)

Marine experts thought that tequila fish had disappeared from the ocean in 2003.

Due to the increasing pollution, change in climate and encroachment into the wildlife, several animal and plant species have become extinct. While some grab the attention of people before they appear on the International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN’s Red List, others become extinct without anyone noticing much. However, this wasn’t the case with the small fish species called Tequila that was on the verge of extinction but due to the efforts of Chester zoo and experts at the Michoacana University of Mexico, it is thriving now. The same has been reported on the Chester Zoo website. Marine experts thought that tequila fish (scientific name Zoogoneticus tequila) had disappeared from the ocean in 2003 after exotic species entered foreign waters. Now, after their successful breeding, they have been reintroduced to a river in Jalisco.

The responsibility to bring back tequila fish from the verge of extinction to being on the list of IUCN’s Least-concern species was given to Michoacana University by United Kingdom’s Chester Zoo. The zoo handed over five pairs of the species to the Michoacana University in 1998 and the conservationists at the university bred thousands of tequila fish over the course of 15 years. The result was positive and the university along with the zoo was able to reintroduce more than 1,500 of tequila fish to the Teuchitlán River in the past few years.

The curator of Lower Vertebrates and Invertebrates at the Chester zoo, Dr Gerardo Garcia, said in a statement: ‘It’s humbling to think that a small population, being cared for by aquarists in Chester, has now led to their revival in the wild. Following years of hard work by our partners at the Michoacana University of Mexico, the wild population is, thankfully, now thriving – they’re breeding naturally at a tremendous rate. It very much goes to show that animals can re-adapt to the wild when reintroduced at the right time and in the right environments. Chester Zoo’s mission is to prevent extinction and that’s exactly what we’ve done here.’

Tequila fish, named after the Tequila Volcano, grows upto 6 cm in case of male and 8 cm if female.

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