Endangered Species Act is recovery of species listed as threatened or endangered. To date, few listed species have recovered, either completely or in part, and the process for determining when a species is no longer threatened by extinction is still relatively new. Lessons from early recovery programs and downlisting actions, such as those for the Gila topminnow (Poeciliopsis 0. occidentalis), discussed below, may prove valuable in future programs. Currently, the Gila topminnow is being recommended by the US. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for downlisting from endangered to threatened status. Problems associated with protection of fishes in arid lands prompted an innovative and aggressive approach to topminnow recovery, including many introductions into historic range. Only five years after official recovery efforts began, criteria for downlisting were achieved (USFWS 1983; Brooks 1986;Simons 1987). Thus, progress toward recovery plan goals has been made, but concerns remain that reclassification criteria may be too politically based and not biologically justified (Simons 1987). Here, we review the history and conservation status of the Gila topminnow, and discuss the remaining challenges for its recovery. The Gila topminnow is a small live-bearingfish (family Poeciliidae) of the Sonoran Desert region. It is one of two subspecies
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Mar 1, 1989
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