AiS Challenge Team Abstract


Team Number: 36

School Name: Goddard

Area of Science: Enironmental

Project Title: People or Pupfish



There are conflicts between agricultural use of water and preservation of wildlife habitat in the Pecos River Valley near Roswell, New Mexico. Naturally occurring wetland habitat is extremely scarce in southeast new Mexico. These aquatic habitats typically support a diverse group of wildlife and plant species. The Pecos pupfish, a federal candidate species for listing as Threatened or Endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, is found at BLM-administered Overflow Wetlands which receives water from Lea Lake at the Bottomless Lake State Park. Recent concern over water use for wildlife habitat and agricultural needs has come arisen. Some proponents have suggested channeling water directly to the Pecos River to the potential demise of the Pecos pupfish. A balance must be found that addresses the minimum requirements of the fish while meeting the demands of agriculture in New Mexico and Texas (water pact).

We plan to develop a computer program that would attempt to simulate changes in Pecos pupfish populations by using and manipulating environmental factors potentially affecting Pecos pupfish populations at the BLM Overflow Wetlands. Factors to be considered include water quality in terms of flow measured in cubic feet per second and water quality, relative to the time of year (spring/summer verses winter), and projected fish populations. This will help people see how changes in these factors affect the fish population without damaging the fish or its habitat. This program would assist in developing conservation measures that may help to maintain Pecos pupfish populations in Southeast New Mexico.

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