Two Minnow Species Now Endangered in the SW
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has changed the status of two rare Southwest fishes—the spikedace and loach minnows—from threatened to endangered under the Endangered Species Act. With this action, the agency designated 710 miles of streams as critical habitat, meaning FWS must approve any new projects there. The species’ original range in Arizona and New Mexico has been diminished 85-90 percent due to prolonged drought, an increase in competitive and predatory and nonnative fishes, and the effects of climate change. The Arizona Daily Star reports that the fish have also lost habitat due to dams, mining, and livestock grazing.