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Tank you; Aquarium is saving rare fish.

Byline: Pamela Owen

THERE'S been a stirring of the waters at London Zoo - and two at-risk fish species have boosted their numbers.

The zoo's rainbow characodon, which come from Mexico, have produced 50 babies, known as fry.

There has been a similar success for the tiny Corfu killifish, which is found only in Greece.

Both freshwater fish species face extinction in the wild because of the effects of pollution from humans.

The drainage of rivers and streams has had an impact as land is cleared for building.

And the introduction of predators such as the mosquitofish to waterways has dented numbers further.

Keepers at the zoo are putting the latest success down to new tanks and conditioning units donated by shop chain Pets at Home.

London Zoo aquarist Alasdair Maltby said: "We're thrilled that these fish have settled in to their new homes so quickly. To have more than 100 fry born in such a quick period shows us just how happy and content they are." Staff work with other zoos and aquariums across the world to conserve aquatic life under the guidance of the Zoological Society London.

According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature thousands of freshwater fish species are at risk of being wiped out.

Of the 5,096 species it assessed, 2,506 are threatened and 688 are endangered, critically endangered or extinct in the wild.

Fantastic The aquarium at London Zoo breeds 26 species in captivity including eight species of Mexican pupfish and ten livebearers, five of which are now extinct in the wild.

Mr Maltby said: "Being able to help conserve these small but significant fish is fantastic.

"By collaborating with other zoos and aquariums across the world as part of ZSL's Fish Net project, it's great that we're able to work together for wildlife offering hope to species such as the characodon and killifish."

To learn more about London Zoo's conservation work visit www.zsl.org.

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LOVELY BUBBLY: London's Alasdair

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Jun 28, 2015
Words:331
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