Fish in the Desert: Can It Survive?

Photo by OceanAtoll via Wikimedia Commons

Can fish survive in a place surrounded by huge rocks, like a desert? Let’s find out the fishes that have been living in the desert for a long time now.

Where are These Fishes?

Nevada, USA is a place in America, which is rich in gold production. It’s the 2nd from South Africa in this field. This state is also well-known as the “gambling and entertainment capital of
the USA”.

In the southwestern part of this state, you’ll find a natural geologic form that they called “Devil’s Hole”. Its exact location is inside the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Nye County, Nevada.

Here, you’ll also see the fishes that are being protected — the “Devil’s Hole Pupfish”. They are regarded as some of the rarest fishes on the planet. It’s because they look like small “Tilapia” and their vibrant color, which is blue, is so inviting.

The place is regarded as the worst place for fishes. But, only the Devil’s Hole Pupfish can live here. Do you know that the Devil’s Hole was noticed by people 60,000 years ago? Later on, people got surprised when they saw fishes living here.

(Click the play button to see video)


More About Devil’s Hole Pupfish

They are critically engangered species. That’s why the U.S. is carefully observing them so that they won’t disappear in this world forever. The Devil’s Hole Pupfish can withstand water environment with low oxygen content. What’s more interesting to know is that these fishes can only be seen in the Devil’s Hole.

Protecting the Pupfish

Americans started to protect them in 1967. But, the decline of the numbers of pupfish was noticed in the ’90s. According to experts, the possible reason of the pupfish population decline is because of the water beetles that you can only see through the microscope.

Moreover, experts discovered that these beetles eat the eggs of the pupfish. It’s saddening to know that despite the fact that people are protecting the fishes, but, these beetles are just eating the eggs.

How the Pupfish Reached Devil’s Hole

Now, let’s talk about how these fishes reached the distinctive place. During the past Ice Age, experts noted that the water level went down that led some of the pupfishes to be separated from their group. Some of them reached the southwestern part of Nevada — the Devil’s Hole.

This hole is so deep that’s why the water stayed here. It has 500 feet depth. Interestingly, the bottomost part of it hasn’t been explored fully by humans. If you desire to enter this protected underground water cave, you need the necessary permit.

Every year, the area only receives less than 1 inch of rain. According to biologists, these pupfishes have morphed. That is why their current appearance is different from the normal pupfish.

Because the Devil’s Hole Pupfish is an endangered species, the United States of America is strictly prohibiting all its states to catch the pupfish in this area. If you are found guilty, you will be in custody.

With the desire to protect the fishes, they established a specialized facility. The volume of facility has 110 thousand gallons. The facility is just near the Devil’s Hole. The staff is carefully and extensively monitoring the fishes. To ensure that the water environment has the right
temperature and other requirements.

The Devil’s Hole Pupfish can’t live in other places. They need the water parameters that can only be found in the Devil’s Hole. As of now, the facility has more than 1 hundred pupfishes.

Bonus info:

These fishes are in high risk when there’s an earthquake.

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