Round-tailed chub will not benefit from endangered species protection

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has ruled that a Colorado River fish called roundtail chub will not receive protection under the Endangered Species Act. Melissa Sevigny of KNAU reports that its species status has been debated for years.

The round-tailed chub is a silvery minnow that lives in Arizona and New Mexico. It has been flagged for federal protection since the 1980s due to threats from dams, development, and alien species.

But the Fish and Wildlife Service says conservation efforts have stabilized the population.

This is the result of a review ordered a year ago by a federal judge. The agency had halted its investigation of the round-tailed chub after a panel of experts decided it was the same species as two other Colorado River fish, the Gila chub and the Atlantic chub. upstream. Some fish biologists disputed this finding, and the Center for Biological Diversity sued to force the review to continue.

The findings, published today in the federal register, say the round-tailed chub is not in danger of extinction, and the Gila chub should be considered for delisting as they are thought to be the same species.

The Fish and Wildlife Service invites the public to submit any relevant information about the proposed delisting of the Gila chub.

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