Newly Discovered Amazonian Fish Are Already Threatened

Newly Discovered Amazonian Fish Are Already Threatened: In Brazil’s Amazon region, two new kinds of fish have been found. But because of damage to their homes, these fish might not be around much longer. They belong to a group of animals called South American darters. Now, there are five different types of these fish.

Poecilocharax callipterus is a type of fish that has bright red-orange fins. A dark spot is also near its tail.

Amazonian Fish

Poecilocharax rhizophilus, which is the other fish, is very small. It is about as long as the nail on your thumb. It is bright yellow with a black line on its side and a silver-white belly.

In a study, these fish were talked about. It was in a scientific magazine. The study said terrible things are hurting the Amazon, like cutting down trees. This is also bad for the fish.

Murilo Pastana wrote the paper. He works in Washington at a big museum. He said, “It was great to find new fish. We also saw trees being set on fire and big trees being cut down. We knew we had to get the word out quickly about the fish.”

What they did to find the fish

Pastana went on a trip with some other scientists. They got money from a group that does study. They wanted to learn about the different fish around the Madeira River. A lot of fish live in this area.

Getting there was challenging. Most of the Amazon is far away from roads. Only by river or dirt roads could they get there. Pastana said, “We went to places no scientists had ever been.”

When they put nets in the water, they found the fish. Pastana thought it was a big shock. This kind of fish hasn’t been found in over 50 years.

They studied the fish at a museum by taking shots of them.

There is the danger for the fish.

Pastana and his friends think these fish may not be around much longer. The places they live in are getting smaller and smaller. Some fish tank owners might want these fish. Pastana hopes that people will want to protect these fish if they know about them.

Pastana said, “It would be sad to lose these fish.”

He thinks these fish should be on a list of animals needing help. Poecilocharax callipterus, the bigger fish, might be in huge trouble.

Mining and taking down trees are still bad things in the Amazon. Pastana fears that not enough is being done to stop these nasty things.

Pastana would like to learn more about fish. “There are other fish we haven’t named yet,” he said. I hope we find out who they are before destroying their homes.”

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