27 de Noviembre
Ojo Garabato outlet as it passes the town of 27 de Noviembre, Mezquital drainage [Durango]. (24.213367°N, 104.504931°W). Photo by Juan Miguel Artigas Azas. (02-May-2023).



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Mezquital: Ojo Garabato

Conservation: For almost thirty years of visiting this place, I had always found an abundance of Characodon lateralis, the population has been historically known as “Abraham Gonzalez”, a town 2 km west of Ojo Garabato — which translates as scribble spring, clearly in reference to its intricate shape, and latter “27 de Noviembre”, the town at the side of highway 40. In the 1990s there was a small channel (less than 1 m wide) crossing Abraham Gonzalez which provided water to some inhabitants, the channel was then populated by C. lateralis and subsequently dried up. 27 de Noviembre was still a sure bet to find the species. This was the first time (2023) that vigorous collecting did not produce a single specimen. This time I noticed new exotic species, the crayfish Procambarus clarkii and Carassius auratus.

On the bright side, I was able to collect several Chirostoma mezquital, which had been extremely rare in the past. In talking to Michael Köck (who had previously visited) about this situation, he mentioned that during a visit he made a couple of years ago he wasn’t able to find C. lateralis at this place either, but he did in Ojo Garabato. Therefore, in the best scenario, the population of the species is decreasing.

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