Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

Endangered species found spawning in Grand Canyon

By: The Associated Press
June 18, 2014 Updated: June 18, 2014 at 5:46 pm
0

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. (AP) — The razorback sucker, an endangered fish species believed missing from Grand Canyon National Park since the 1990s, has been found spawning in the lower Colorado River.

Researchers have discovered larval razorback suckers since mid-April in the river that runs through the canyon, U.S. Department of the Interior officials said Wednesday.

This development indicates that suitable habitat is available to support larger populations of the species that's characterized by a long, high sharp-edged hump behind its head, experts said.

The razorback sucker, which can grow to up to 3 feet in length and live 40 years or more, was once abundant throughout the Colorado River and its tributaries from the Green River in Wyoming to the Gulf of California.

But because of basin-wide alterations in habitat and the introduction of non-native species, spawning and survival to adulthood for the razorback sucker was known to occur only in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area on the Arizona-Nevada border.

The National Park Service and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released nine adult razorback suckers on March 16 in the Colorado River within Grand Canyon National Park.

The larval fish were first detected April 14 and again in multiple samples later in April and last month, officials said.

Larval razorback suckers were surprisingly found at nine of the 47 locations in the park, said Mark McKinstry, a biologist with the Bureau of Reclamation.

"We're all hoping to see evidence that these larval fish survive to adulthood in the coming years," said Brian Healy, fisheries program manager for the national park.

The creation of the Glen Canyon Dam in the early 1960s near the Arizona-Utah border led to a loss of habitat for some Grand Canyon fish species, experts said.

The suckers don't reproduce easily in temperatures below 50 degrees and are eaten by exotic fish such as bullhead, carp and channel catfish.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Incognito Mode Your browser is in Incognito mode

You vanished!

We welcome you to read all of our stories by signing into your account. If you don't have a subscription, please subscribe today for daily award winning journalism.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

or
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?
 
This is your last FREE article for the month
This is your last FREE article for the month

Subscribe now and enjoy Unlimited Digital Access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?

 
You have reached your article limit for the month
You have reached your article limit for the month

We hope that you've enjoyed your complimentary access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?
 

Exclusive Subscriber Content

You read The Gazette because you care about your community and the local stories you can't find anywhere else.

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber? Get Access | Already a digital subscriber? Log In
 
articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.