Skip to main content

ABQ BioPark Aquarist Visits Mexico to Support in Fish Release

Golden skiffia were listed as extinct in the wild in 1996, and local conservationists released 1,200 this November.

Dec. 15, 2022 - ABQ BioPark Aquarist Patrick Horley visited Teuchitlán, Mexico, in early November to support a release of 1,200 golden skiffia by local conservationists. This species of splitfin is found only in Jalisco state’s Rio Teuchitlán and was declared extinct in the wild in 1996. The effort, led by local conservationists, included help from Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Chester Zoo, and others.

“The dates aligned with the celebration of the Day of the Dead with the theme being that the fish were being brought back from the dead,” Horley said. “There were altars to the fish set up around the release site which also hosted dance groups, musicians, poets, and plays dedicated to the fish. Volunteers were thanked with an awards ceremony.”

Horley also visited the Guadalajara Zoo, which is interested in conservation of goodeids, the taxonomical family that golden skiffia belong to. The trip was funded by the New Mexico BioPark Society, with the Guadalajara Zoo, members of Guardians of the River and Chester Zoo chipping in as well with lodging and meals.

Learn more about the project and release and view photos on the re:wild website: