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Media Release

Published: 08/17/2011
CONTACT(s):
Contact: Rebecca Houtman Phone: 505-248-8514 or 505-366-4257 Email: rhoutman@cabq.gov

Successful Summer for the BioPark’s Silvery Minnow Conservation

Aquarium Continues Efforts to Improve Status of Endangered Species
ALBUQUERQUE, NM—Since it opened eight summers ago, the ABQ BioPark Aquarium’s Aquatic Conservation Facility has helped reintroduce more than one million Rio Grande silvery minnows to the river. Today, the collaborative effort to protect this endangered species continues to be a success.

This year, Aquatic Conservation Facility staff is rearing 75,000 silvery minnows from captive spawning and an additional 17,000 fish hatched from wild eggs collected from the Rio Grande. As part of a larger watershed-wide effort, the Aquatic Conservation Facility raises silvery minnows in tanks and a special pond known as the Naturalized Refugium.

“This has been a very successful year for the Facility’s silvery minnow program,” said Rebecca Houtman, Curator of Tingley Beach and the Aquatic Conservation Facility. “There has been a multi-agency effort to monitor for and collect wild eggs in the river to rear at the Facility and later release into the river. We are very pleased with the results this year.”

Aquatic Conservation Facility staff will tag and release thousands of Rio Grande silvery minnows into the Rio Grande this fall. The fish will help supplement the silvery minnow’s population spanning from Cochiti to Elephant Butte and in Big Bend National Park.

While the Aquatic Conservation Facility is located behind-the-scenes, Aquarium visitors can see the silvery minnow in the Rio Grande Present tank. The BioPark’s Silvery Minnow Project is made possible by the City of Albuquerque, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and the Middle Rio Grande Endangered Species Act Collaborative Program.

The BioPark is an accessible facility and a division of the Cultural Services Department, City of Albuquerque, Richard J. Berry, Mayor. For more information, visit www.cabq.gov/biopark or call 311 locally or (505) 768-2000 (Relay NM or 711).

Caption: Head Aquarist Kim Ward monitors for eggs in the Rio Grande. Photo courtesy of ABQ BioPark.
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