Tuesday July 9, 2024

The Colorado Sun

When plants and animals wind up on the threatened or endangered species lists, it can mean two things: They’re in dire straits — and they’ll have access to a host of federal protections.

Two southwestern fish, the Rio Grande chub and sucker, did not make the list.

It’s a bittersweet outcome for conservation groups. The federal decision, announced in June, is a sign that years of multi-agency conservation efforts are helping the species. But more protections could also come in handy: One-third of the fish populations could die off in the next decade, and environmental threats, like being eaten by nonnative fish, aren’t going anywhere. 

“We can certainly breathe a sigh of relief and pat ourselves on the back a little bit, but the job’s not done,” said Dan Cammack, an aquatic biologist and resident “it-guy” for sucker and chub conservation at Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

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