December 21, 2014
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Federal officials and a biologist say a longtime effort to save an isolated fish in a unique watery ecosystem near Death Valley might be coming to a sad and final end.
Only 35 Devils Hole pupfish were found in a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service survey reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
That's the lowest tally ever for the tiny endangered fish found only in one water-filled cavern in Nye County, 90 miles west of Las Vegas.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Supervisor Ted Koch says officials are very concerned.
The neon blue pupfish and its habitat have been under federal protection since 1967.
They're counted twice a year, and the bleak spring tally comes on the heels of the lowest fall count ever - just 75 adult fish.