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
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
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.