Pinal County To Combat Disease-Carrying Mosquitoes Using Endangered Fish

Published: Friday, June 21, 2019 - 1:28pm
Updated: Monday, June 24, 2019 - 10:00am
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Arizona Game and Fish Department
Gila topminnow.

Pinal County plans to put an endangered species of fish to work reducing populations of disease-carrying mosquitoes.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department will provide 100-200 endangered Gila topminnows to Pinal County Public Health Services under an Endangered Species Act Safe Harbor Agreement with the county and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The short-lived fish eat plants, small crustaceans and small invertebrates, including the larvae of mosquitoes that can carry diseases like West Nile and Zika viruses.

Listed as endangered since 1967 due to habitat loss, the native topminnow is preferable to the exotic mosquitofish, which can affect native fish and ecosystems when its escapes its designated areas.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to correct the headline.

Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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