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Re: species maintenance database
I think we have two issues here, unfortunately.
I do not believe we can save any endangered killies in home fishtanks.
If we want to save killies, we have to put time and money into habitat
preservation. Note how many of the killies in the KMI listed as gone
were here, in the northern part of the Americas. Draining off the water
from a viable, probably ancient killie habitat to provide water for a
city, then keeping a few surviving members of the species or population
in treated water from their own habitat in the fickle world of aquaria
isn't going to do it. The most dedicated killie keeper could possibly
keep the fish for say sixty years. That's a blink. We might as well
freeze them for DNA.
I think we need to address the habitat issue, and stay within our means.
For example, Tom talked about cameronense. They aren't in direct danger
- it's just that we can't get to them to keep them in the hobby if we
don't breed them. As aquarium fish, they are in danger because
killie-keepers lose interest in them as newer and easier prestige
species appear, or as such tough to breed fish prove impossible to keep
going on captivity. So that level of maintenance is hobby oriented - for
us to be able to maintain the fish for the hobby. For ourselves, in
effect. Nothing more.
For endangered species, we can become temporary private zoos if we want,
but that's no long term solution. And we can't save the killies of
Africa from here. We should, however, be working with conservation
groups here, to preserve habitat. Someday, I can see an alliance with
the AKA, groups like NANFA (the North American native Fishes
Association) and other, broader groups communicating our appreciation
of these animals and their habitats to the general public.
In the meantime, I think we have to clarify this debate. Maintaining
species for an aquarium hobby, and maintaining species in their viable
habitats are different projects. Are we making arks, or maintaining
aquarium populations? That's we have to discuss, as we define how we are
going to do these things. I think that lack of focus in our debate is
why a lot of AKA maintenance initiatives have petered out.
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