Small town residents in western Mexico are in celebration fashion after their beloved wild tequila fish – an endangered species declared extinct in 1998 – was recently reintroduced into the nature.
The fish, whose scientific name is Zoogoneticus Tequila, was rescued in the 1990s by American and British conservationists who the guard in aquariums and helped him find his original habitat in Teuchitlan River.
Children in Teuchitlan, home to about 10,000 peoplehave been at the forefront of efforts to inform visitors not only about the importance of keep their habitat clean but also on fish tequila.
“The children are those who approach people on River bank and tell them that in this river lives a small fish which is unique in the world … and that they participated in its reintroduction,” said Consuelo Rivera, a seventy-year-old retired teacher.
The tequila fish would have disappeared in 1998, possibly due to fragmentation of son habitat, pollution and competition of non-native species, according to the International Union for the conversation of Nature (IUCN).
The species survived only in captivity for several years until conservationists, led by the University of Michoacan, began the process in 2014 to reintroduce it into the nature.
Since then, the fish has gone from strength to strength, aided by the last version major of fish in 2018, said project Chef Omar Dominguez.
Resurrection of ‘Little Rooster’
The tequila fish grows to about 7 centimeters (2.7 inches) and the male has a bright queue Orange-red.
This shares the name of the world-renowned Mexican liquor in the city of Tequila, which like Teuchitlan, is located in the state of Jalisco.
The species has unique characteristics such as giving birth to a desdeveloped fetus, which it nurtures through a kind of umbilical cord similar to that of humans, Dominguez said.
“It’s an important part of the ecosystem. It is a carnivorous species and it feeds, for Example, on mosquito larvae, which keep ecosystems healthy for humans”, he added.
It is estimated today that there are between 1,500 and 2,000 tequila fish in the natureand the species is classified as endangered by the IUCN.
Civil society group Guardians of the river carries out educational campaigns and workshops for children and adults to show them flora and fauna of the area.
Tourism also play an important role role in initiative.
Local visitors bathe in spa pools around the therapeutic river, and swim with Fish – also known as “gallito” (“little rooster”) in Spanish) because of her queue colorful.
“There’s a lot of little fish. They swim together with people and sometimes small fish also start bite people to pet them,” said Maria Aurea Martinez, a spa employee.
Jaime Navel, local parish priest, considers the species “the little fish that was resurrected, that came back to live.”
“There is fear and joy in the community,” he said.