Skip to main content
×
×
Home

The extinction of the Catarina pupfish Megupsilon aporus and the implications for the conservation of freshwater fish in Mexico

  • Arcadio Valdés González (a1), Lourdes Martínez Estévez (a2), Ma. Elena Ángeles Villeda (a1) and Gerardo Ceballos (a3)
Abstract

Extinctions are occurring at an unprecedented rate as a consequence of human activities. Vertebrates constitute the best-known group of animals, and thus the group for which there are more accurate estimates of extinctions. Among them, freshwater fishes are particularly threatened and many species are declining. Here we report the extinction of an endemic freshwater fish of Mexico, the Catarina pupfish Megupsilon aporus, the sole species of the genus Megupsilon. We present a synopsis of the discovery and description of the species, the threats to, and degradation of, its habitat, and the efforts to maintain the species in captivity before it became extinct in 2014. The loss of the Catarina pupfish has evolutionary and ecological implications, and highlights the crisis of freshwater fish extinctions. It is a warning of the likely fate of more than 200 freshwater fish species threatened with extinction in Mexico. To save these species, the country urgently needs a national strategy to articulate a bold conservation effort, with better policies on ecosystem management and water use.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      The extinction of the Catarina pupfish Megupsilon aporus and the implications for the conservation of freshwater fish in Mexico
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      The extinction of the Catarina pupfish Megupsilon aporus and the implications for the conservation of freshwater fish in Mexico
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      The extinction of the Catarina pupfish Megupsilon aporus and the implications for the conservation of freshwater fish in Mexico
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
(Corresponding author) E-mail mmarti72@ucsc.edu
References
Hide All
Aguilar, V., Alarcón, J., González, L., Kolb, M., Koleff, P. & Urquiza-Haas, T. (2012) Vacíos y omisiones en conservación de la biodiversidad acuática epicontinental de México ríos, cuerpos de agua y humedales. CONABIO, CONANP, Ciudad de México, México.
Alcocer, J. (2007) El agua epicontinental de México. Ciencia, July–September, 2635.
Amezcua Torres, N. (2009) Caracterización de materia orgánica sedimentaria lacustre: un ejemplo del paleolago El Potosí, Nuevo León, México. Revista Geociencia, 5, 2132.
AZE (Alliance for Zero Extinction) (2018) Http://www.zeroextinction.org [accessed 27 July 2018].
Bennett, M.G. & Conway, K.W. (2010) An overview of North America's diminutive freshwater fish fauna. Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, 21, 6372.
Blando-Navarrete, J.L., Jiménez-González, J., Valencia-Castro, C.M., Castañeda-Gaytán, G. & Carrillo-Flores, R. (2007) Estudio técnico justificativo para declarar Parque Estatal El Pandeño de los Pando, en el Municipio de Julimes Chihuahua. Biodesert A.C., World Wildlife Fund, Universidad Juárez del estado de Durango, Universidad Autónoma Chapingo, México.
Burkhead, N.M. (2012) Extinction rates in North American freshwater fishes, 1900–2010. BioScience, 62, 798808.
Carabias, J. & Landa, R. (2005) Agua, medio ambiente y sociedad. Hacia la gestión integral de los recursos hídricos en México. UNAM, El Colegio de México, Fundación Gonzalo Río Arronte, Ciudad de México, México.
Ceballos, G., Ehrlich, P.R., Barnosky, A.D., García, A., Pringle, R.M. & Palmer, T.M. (2015) Accelerated modern human-induced species losses: entering the sixth mass extinction. Science Advances, 1, e1400253.
Ceballos, G., Ehrlich, P.R. & Dirzo, R. (2017a) Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 114, E6089E6096.
Ceballos, G., Díaz-Pardo, E., Martínez-Estévez, L. & Espinosa Pérez, H. (2017b) Peces dulceacuícolas de México en peligro de extinción. Fondo de Cultura Económica, Ciudad de México, México.
CONAGUA (Comisíon Nacional del Agua) (2011) Informe Estadísticas del agua en México. Http://www.conagua.gob.mx/CONAGUA07/Publicaciones/Publicaciones/SGP-1-11-EAM2011.pdf [accesed 24 March 2017].
Contreras-Balderas, S. (1991) Conservation of Mexican fresh water fishes: some protected sites and species, and recent federal legislation. In Battle Against Extinction. Native Fish Management in the American West (eds Minckley, W.L. & Deacon, J.E.), pp. 191197. The University of Arizona Press, Arizona, USA.
Contreras-Balderas, S. & Lozano-Vilano, M.L. (1993) Water, endangered fishes, and development perspectives in north-eastern Mexico. Conservation Biology, 8, 379387.
Contreras-Balderas, S. & Lozano-Vilano, M.L. (1996a) Survival status of the Sandia and Potosi Valleys endemic pupfishes and crayfishes from the Mexican plateau in Nuevo León, Mexico, with comments on extinct snails. Proceedings of the Desert Fishes Council, Volume XXVII, 1995 Annual Symposium, 28.
Contreras-Balderas, S. & Lozano-Vilano, M.L. (1996b) Extinction of most Sandia and Potosí valleys (Nuevo León, México) endemic pupfishes, crayfishes and snails. Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, 7, 3340.
Contreras-Balderas, S., Almada-Villela, P., Lozano-Vilano, M.L. & García-Ramírez, M.E. (2003) Freshwater fish at risk or extinct in México. A checklist and review. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 12, 241251.
Contreras-MacBeath, T., Brito Rodríguez, M., Sorani, V., Goldspink, C. & McGregor Reid, G. (2014) Richness and endemism of the freshwater fishes of Mexico. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 6, 54215433.
De la Maza-Benignos, M. (ed.) (2009) Los Peces del Río Conchos. Alianza WWF – FGRA y Gobierno del Estado de Chihuahua, Chihuahua, México.
De la Maza-Benignos, M. & Vela-Valladares, L. (2009) Cyprinodon julimes sp. nov. In Los Peces del Río Conchos (ed. M. De la Maza-Benignos, ), pp. 185189. Alianza WWF-FGRA y Gobierno del Estado de Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico.
De la Vega, M.Y. (2003) Situación de los peces dulceacuícolas de México. Ciencias, 72, 2030.
Dirzo, R., Young, H.S., Galetti, M., Ceballos, G., Isaac, N.J. & Collen, B. (2014) Defaunation in the Anthropocene. Science, 345, 401406.
Domínguez-Domínguez, O., Boto, L., Alda, F., Pérez-Ponce de León, G. & Doadrio, I. (2007) Human impacts on drainages of the Mesa Central, Mexico, and its genetic effects on an endangered fish, Zoogoneticus quitzeoensis. Conservation Biology, 21, 168180.
Dudgeon, D., Arthington, A.H., Gessner, M.O., Kawabata, Z.-I., Knowler, D.J., Lévêque, C. et al. (2006) Freshwater biodiversity: importance, threats, status and conservation challenges. Biological Reviews, 81, 163182.
Echelle, A.A., Carson, E.W., Echelle, A.F., Van Den Bussche, R.A., Dowling, T.E. & Meyer, A. (2005) Historical biogeography of the New-World pupfish genus Cyprinodon (Teleostei: Cyprinodontidae). Copeia, 2005, 320339.
Guzmán-Cedillo, L.M.P. (1981) Aspectos biológicos de dos peces Cyprinodontidos y un crustáceo Cambaridae de Potosí, N.L. BSc thesis. Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas), Nuevo León, México.
IUCN (2016) IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria (Version 3.1). Http://www.iucnredlist.org/ [accessed 24 March 2017].
Jelks, H., Walsh, S.J., Burkhead, N.M., Contreras-Balderas, S., Díaz-Pardo, E., Hendrickson, D.A. et al. (2008) Conservation status of imperiled North American freshwater and diadromous fishes. Fisheries, 33, 372407.
Lascuráin, M., List, R., Barraza, L., Díaz Pardo, E., Gual Sill, F., Maunder, M. et al. (2009) Conservación de especies ex situ. In Capital natural de México, vol. II: Estado de conservación y tendencias de cambio, pp. 517544. CONABIO, Ciudad de México, Mexico.
Liu, R.K. & Echelle, A.A. (2013) Behavior of the Catarina pupfish (Cyprinodontidae: Megupsilon aporus), a severely imperiled species. The Southwestern Naturalist, 58, 17.
Miller, R.R. (1956) A new genus and species of cyprinodontid fish from San Luis Potosi, Mexico, with remarks on the subfamily Cyprinodontinae. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, 581, 117.
Miller, R.R. & Walters, N. (1972) A new genus of cyprinodontid fish from Nuevo León, Mexico. Contributions in Science of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 233, 113.
Miller, R.R., Williams, J.D. & Williams, J.E. (1989) Extinctions of North American fishes during the past century. Fisheries, 14, 2238.
Miller, R.R., Minckley, W.L. & Norris, S.M. (2005) Freshwater Fishes of Mexico. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.
Myers, R.A. & Worm, B. (2005) Extinction, survival or recovery of large predatory fishes. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 360, 1320.
Olden, J.D., Hogan, Z.S. & Zanden, M. (2007) Small fish, big fish, red fish, blue fish: size-biased extinction risk of the world's freshwater and marine fishes. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 16, 694701.
Régnier, C., Achaz, G., Lambert, A., Cowie, R., Bouchet, P. & Fontaine, B. (2015) Mass extinction in poorly known taxa. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112, 77617766.
Ricciardi, A. & Rasmussen, J.B. (1999) Extinction rates of North American freshwater fauna. Conservation Biology, 13, 12201222.
Rodríguez-Almaraz, G.A. & Campos, E. (1994) Distribution and status of the crayfishes (Cambaridae) of Nuevo León, Mexico. Journal of Crustacean Biology, 14, 729735.
Silk, N. & Ciruna, K. (eds) (2005) A Practitioner's Guide to Freshwater Biodiversity Conservation. Island Press, Washington, DC, USA.
Stiassny, M. & Bianco, P.G. (1998) The medium is the message. Biodiversity freshwater diversity in peril. In The Living Planet in Crisis: Biodiversity Science and Policy (eds Cracaft, J. & Grifo, F.), pp. 5371. Columbia University Press, New York, USA.
Tveteraas, A. (1993) Mexikanische Killifische am Rande der Ausrottung. Datz Aquarien Terrarien, 12, 802806.
Uyeno, T. & Miller, R.R. (1971) Multiple sex chromosomes in a Mexican cyprinodontid fish. Nature, 231, 452453.
Valdés González, A. (1997) Influencia de la calidad del hábitat y el alimento sobre la viabilidad y aptitud ecológica de dos especies del género Cyprinodon, C. veronicae y C. longidorsalis (Lozano y Contreras 1993) del sur de Nuevo León, México. PhD thesis. Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Nuevo León, Mexico.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Oryx
  • ISSN: 0030-6053
  • EISSN: 1365-3008
  • URL: /core/journals/oryx
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed