There are so many fish species listed on the endangered species list that I didn’t even know where to begin! I figured the most logical place was to start at the beginning. Therefore, may I present to you several endangered fish species that you may not have heard of before… but now you have!

Habitat: Malawi

This is the Pale Usisya Aulonocara (Aulonocara steveni) a strikingly beautiful fish that only inhabits the freshwater lake of Mbamba Bay, along the Tanzanian coast. These are examples of the males, which sport the fantastic iridescent blues – females are much duller, lacking most coloration. In any given group that includes a number of specimens, there are likely to be a few extraordinary (“show”) males, a larger number of above average specimens, and a larger number of average specimens. I couldn’t really tell, but I would assume this fish is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Redlist of threatened species due to habitat loss or destruction.
© Manu Esteve
Habitat: Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro

The Adriatic Salmon (Salmo obtusirostris) isn’t the same species you order when you’re out to dinner. This guy differs from most other salmon species by not spending ANY period of time in the ocean. Instead it prefers to live its life happily in freshwater rivers in the Krka, Jardo, Nereveka and Zeta river basins. Although it does not migrate, like many other salmon, into the ocean, it does migrate up and down the rivers it inhabits. You can recognize this endangered fish species by its unique black and red spots that dot its sides.

© Yarkon River Authority
 Habitat: Israel
Growing only to a meager length of 20 cm is the Yarkon Bleak Fish (Acanthobrama telavivensis) which is only found in the coastal rivers of Israel, excluding the Kishon River. Just four days ago this fish made the news when it was spotted again after 50 years in the once highly polluted middle portion of the Yarkon River. Since the river became polluted in the 1950s, the Yarkon Bleak disappeared entirely from the river’s midsection and have not been seen since in this area between Nahal Kana and Sheva Tachanot, the Yarkon River Authority said. This has all changed, however, after the fish began to re-inhabit the middle section of the river, in light of the substantial improvement in water quality and ecological conditions, according to the river authority.
Just goes to show – conservation can really make a HUGE difference!
 Habitat: Asia: Ariake Sea, Kyushu Island, Japan
This is the Ariakehimeshirauo – say that 3 times fast! In fact, just try and say it once. Ya, that’s what I thought. The Ariakehimeshirauo (hahah… k sorry) is a Japanese fish that goes by the scientific name of Neosalanx regani. It’s a very pretty fish for one that inhabits salty, brackish water in the tidal areas of rivers. You normally don’t find such beautiful freshwater fish! This one is also listed as Vulnerable but for unknown reasons (also going to assume habitat destruction…).
© 2010 Danté B.  Fenolio


© 2010 Danté B.  Fenolio
Habitat: northwestern Alabama, United States
Last but not least is the Alabama Cavefish (Speoplatyrhinus poulsoni) which only inhabits underground pools in Key Cave in Alabama, US. This is the only known location of the fish, and was discovered underneath a colony of Gray Bats in 1974 by Cooper and Kuehne. Way to go, guys!
Only nine specimens of the cavefish have been observed and scientists estimate that fewer than 100 are left on the planet. It is believed that this fish is the rarest of American cavefish and one of the rarest of all freshwater fish. It is the most specialized cavefish known, and exists in a fragile ecosystem based on nutrient rich guano of the gray bat. Did you guys catch that? This thing survives on bat poop. Now that’s what I call adapting!
The average Alabama cavefish is about 3 inches (7.6 cm) long and has no eyes or discernible pigmentation, appearing semi-transparent with a slight pink hue. Its large head makes up more than one-third of its length. Must be all that protein in its diet.*** Oh, by the way… the ‘A’ either comes from its common name or scientific name. Just to be clearsies.

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