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This Week in Biodiversity News – 3rd January 2022

Hana Ketley
Hana Ketley

Chester Zoo helps reintroduce ‘extinct fish’ to Mexico. The tequila fish (Zoogoneticus tequila) is a small species of goodied fish that disappeared from the wild in 2003 due to water pollution and the introduction of invasive fish species. A team of conservationists from Chester Zoo and the Michoacana University of Mexico have returned over 1500 fish to a number of springs in the Teuchitlán River in south-west Mexico, with the fish now thriving and breeding in the river. This project is hoped to have created a blueprint for future reintroductions of other endangered fish species.

Baby hellbender salamanders hatch at the St. Louis Zoo in Missouri, with hopes of restoring this species in the wild. The population of this species in Missouri has declined by over 75% since the 1980s, as they’re sensitive to environmental changes caused by climate change, pollution, disease and habitat modification. Chytridiomycosis, the deadly amphibian disease linked to massive worldwide amphibian die-offs, has also been detected in Missouri hellbenders. These captive-bred eggs will be carefully monitored and the hatchlings will be released into the wild when they are two years old.

19 bird species have been added to Nepal’s list of nationally threatened birds in the past decade. As of 2018, this list consists of 168 birds, with aquatic species making up 49 of these. The nationwide count of aquatic birds is taking place between 1st and 16th January, and will show the latest condition of the threatened bird species in Nepal. This increasing number of threatened species is thought to be due to a number of issues, including shrinking forest cover and wetlands, habitat destruction, chemical poisoning, land fragmentation, climate change and hunting.

The National Trust, RSPB, Woodland Trust and The Wildlife Trusts are calling on the Prime Minister to make New Year’s resolutions to tackle the climate and nature crises. These conservation charities are asking the UK government to make seven commitments for 2022 that focus on the protection and restoration of peatlands, protection for our marine environments and paying farmers to restore nature.