Male at Poza de la Becerra
A male of Herichthys minckleyi possibly of the detritivorous morph at Poza de la Becerra, Cuatro Ciénegas, Rio Grande drainage; Coahuila [México]. Photo by Juan Miguel Artigas Azas. (21-Nov-2005). determiner Juan Miguel Artigas Azas








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Herichthys minckleyi (Kornfield & Taylor, 1983)

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Original description as Cichlasoma minckleyi:


  • Kornfield, Irv & J. Taylor. 1983. "A new species of polymorphic fish Cichlasoma minckleyi, from Cuatro Ciénegas, Mexico (Teleostei: Cichlidae)". Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. 96(2):p 253-269 (ffm00031)

Conservation: Herichthys minckleyi is evaluated by the international union for the conservation of nature in the iucn red list of threatened species as (VU) vulnerable (1996). Back in the 1990s Hemichromis bimaculatus was introduced in Poza Churince, the species has radiated to other springs. Efforts to eradicate it had been unsuccessful.

Because of the motivation of the Desert Fishes Council to local people in Cuatro Ciénegas and Mexican institutions, a promotion was carried out and the area was declared a protected area in 1994 (Área de Protección de Flora y Fauna). This is a status of limited legal protection, under what is conferred to a national park. It is particularly directed to the flora and fauna. The valley has been supplied by people and installations that serve to watch it. However, the biggest aggressions are coming from outside of the valley and are not directly focused on the flora and fauna, as the extraction of water from the ground of adjacent El Hundido Valley, used in sprinkle irrigation of alfalfa fields in the desert, to grow food for milch-cows, have had an effect on the water level in Cuatro Ciénegas. The effect has been dramatic and some of the shallow lagoons have been dried. This event turned into a legal war against the powerful milk industry, with mixed results. More recently (2014), the major of the town was accused to grant a permission to extract water from springs, which again drought some areas. It calls attention that a channel built to extract area from La Becerra has not been dismantled by the local government, indicating the intention to use it when possible. The loss of the habitats in Cuatro Ciénegas would have a tremendous effect given their biological heritage importance.