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Environment
3:29 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Four Colorado River Fish on 'Top 10 Endangered' List

  The declining quality and availability of fresh water in the Colorado River are putting wildlife at risk, according to a new report. The study released this week by the Endangered Species Coalition highlights 10 species that are endangered as a result of water mismanagement. In Utah, that includes four fish species in the Colorado River. Leda Huta, executive director of the coalition, says they aren't what most people fish for, but the report says their numbers and health are indicators of water health. 

"When we look at the country and what we've done to our freshwater resources, it's frightening. Every animal has its role to play in the ecosystem."

 

The declining availability and quality of water comes at a time when the planet can expect to have less fresh water availability because of global warming, Huta says. 

"We will see more drought and water scarcities due to climate change that we've created and having an increasing population. Those two, together, are going to have even greater impact on our fresh water."

 

The report finds the bonytail chub is almost extinct, while three other species - the Colorado pikeminnow, the humpback chub and the razorback sucker - are declining in population because of water scarcity, river pollution and invasive species. Other animals on the national list include salmon, antelope and mountain yellow-legged frogs.