Endangered fish go to Reading!


Three species of endangered fish bred as part of a conservation project at a zoo in Somerset, have been transferred to another in Berkshire.

Beale Park, a small zoo situated near Reading, collected the fish from Tropiquaria on Monday for exhibition there.

The fish are three species of Mexican Goodeid, small livebearing fish that are either endangered or extinct in the wild. They don’t even have English names because of their scarcity and similarity to each other. For the dedicated fish person they are: Ataenobius toweri, Skiffia sayula and Xenotoca eiseni. All the fish supplied to Beale Park were bred at Tropiquaria as part of its conservation operation.

Tropiquaria’s aquarist Shaun Stevens said: "These are small fish, which because of their limited range in the wild are all in imminent danger of extinction, if not already extinct. This is because of the local farmers' alterations to streams and lakes for irrigation purposes. These are species that small zoos and aquaria can conserve easily without major investment, and they also supply students with a relatively easily researched conservation project for each species.

"By keeping them in a number of UK collections we are able to have a back up stock for possible re-introduction in the wild if it ever becomes possible."

Shaun is hoping to visit Mexico later this year to look at the problems there.

Tropiquaria is located at Washford Cross, Watchet, Somerset, TA23 0QB and is open daily from 10.30am-5pm.

Beale Park Wildlife Park and Gardens is at Lower Basildon, Reading, Berkshire, RG8 9NW and is open seven days a week from 10am-5pm.

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