Here's the thing about apocalyptic droughts: They are bad for people and livestock and all other living things, but they are ESPECIALLY bad for fish. Texas minnows can't wait for Rick Perry's prayer meetings to alleviate the state's record dry spell — they're already in dire straits as the water shortage robs them of their ability to eat, move, respirate, and reproduce. So scientists are evacuating them, moving the tiny fishlets from the shrinking Brazos River into safer fish hatcheries.
Minnows obviously need water to live; that's where they catch their food, get their oxygen, and keep their stuff. But more critically, as far as scientists are concerned, they need water flows in order to make baby minnows — they go upstream to spawn, and their eggs then float downstream to hatch. So the drought could threaten not only the current crop of minnows, but their children and their children's children.
We're not talking about just any minnows, either. The two species that scientists are scrambling to save are found nowhere else in the world but the Brazos. One more year of drought could wipe the species entirely.
This is the first fish evac recently, but it might not be the last. Several threatened species of mussel, fish, and amphibian have been marked as possibly needing rescue if the drought continues.
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