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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:45 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 6:14 pm
Posts: 35
Location: Millis
from Coral Magazine: Banggai Cardinalfish

New Project Comes to the Aid of the Endangered
Banggai Cardinalfish

Team of scientists and aquarists will use “crowd-funding”
in the marine aquarium world to underwrite research and new book

March 12, 2012

“It’s time to save this fish,” says CORAL editor James Lawrence, as he and an interdisciplinary team of aquarists and marine scientists today announce the launch of a major initiative to prevent the Banggai Cardinalfish, Pterapogon kauderni, from being wiped out in parts of its native range.

Uncommonly beautiful and with an unusual mouthbrooding reproductive habits, the species was listed as Endangered in 2007 by the International Union of Concerned Scientists’ (IUCN). Uncontrolled harvest for the aquarium trade has been cited as the major threatening factor for a fish with a very limited natural range.

Project Banggai Rescue will send a team, including scientists and an embedded journalist, on an expedition in May to the remote Banggai Islands in Sulawesi, Indonesia with several simultaneous missions: assessing the situation; tracking the source of a mysterious disease that kills many Banggai Cardinals collected for the aquarium trade; exploring the possibilities of establishing mariculture operations run by local Indonesian families; and collecting healthy broodstock for captive aquaculture research in the United States.

First team members named, left to right: Ret Talbot, Matt Pedersen, James Lawrence, and Karen Talbot.

“We need approximately $25,000 for the first stage of this project,” says Lawrence, head of Reef to Rainforest Media, based in Shelburne, Vermont. “Today we are going live with a campaign to raise funds for the expedition, captive breeding research, and seed money to produce a book covering all aspects of the project.”

Coauthors of the book include Ret Talbot, who will accompany and document in the Expedition, marine breeder Matt Pedersen, with the senior science participants to be named in coming weeks. Natural history conservation artist Karen Talbot will produce a series of portraits of the Banggai Cardinalfish for the book and as rewards for Kickstarter backers.

New Banggai Breeder's Guide

Matt Pedersen, winner of the Marine Aquarium Societies of North America Aquarist of the Year Award in 2009 for his pioneering successes in breeding marine fishes and as an advocate for captive culture of popular aquarium species, will stay home in Duluth, Minnesota to write the hands-on husbandry and breeding sections of the book.

The project will fund the establishment of a breeding room with 20 pairs of Banggai Cardinalfish that will help Pedersen revisit existing protocols and pitfalls in the propagation of the species. Pedersen seeks to establish a modern breeding approach that private aquarists and small commercial breeders throughout the world can leverage.

“When this species first entered the aquarium trade in the mid-1990s, we all thought it would prove to be the Marine Guppy,” says Lawrence, who will edit the book and write an introduction to the endangered species, whose wild populations have been severely impacted by aquarium collectors and reportedly wiped out in some areas. “The fact is, very few captive-bred Banggai Cardinals are being sold, and we hope to change that.”

Entitled, Banggai Rescue, Adventures in bringing Pterapongon kauderni back from the brink, the book is scheduled for publication in time for the annual Marine Aquarium Conference of North America in Dallas/Fort Worth, at the end of September. Sales of the book will help fund ongoing research and sustainability initiatives.

"We are especially pleased to have the endorsement and encouragement of leading Indonesia wildlife conservationists who are also to working to protect the species," Lawrence says. "They are on the ground and in the water, with a goal of making it a sustainable fishery. We believe it is crucial to work with the Indonesian people, as well as encouraging serious breeding efforts by marine aquarists."

KICKSTARTER: The Banggai Rescue Project ... ue-project

BANGGAI Rescue Website

Banggai Rescue: USE OF FUNDS ... -are-used/

James Lawrence
802.985.9977 x7

Uncle Ned's Fish Factory, Inc.
1590 Main Street (Rte. 109)
Millis, MA 02054 USA
508 533 5969 (leave message anytime)

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