AiS Challenge Team Interim


Team Number: 36

School Name: Goddard

Area of Science: Enironmental

Project Title: People or Pupfish



Project definition:
The Pecos River Valley and the BLM-administered Overflow Wetlands serve as one of the primary habitats for the Pecos Pupfish. This species is currently a federal candidate for listing as Threatened or Endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. One of the greatest sources of concern is the conflict over the water pact with Texas regarding the Pecos River. The small amount of water that flows through the Pecos is supposed sufficiently support agricultural needs and the demands of the preservation of wildlife while still leaving enough water to send on to Texas. The minimum requirements of the fish must be ascertained in order to find a balance and compromise.

Plan to Solve:
We plan to develop a computer program that will attempt to simulate changes in Pecos Pupfish populations by using and manipulating environmental factors potentially affecting the fish at the BLM Overflow Wetlands. Some of the factors to be considered are water quantity and flow relative to the time of year, projected fish populations, and life cycle. This will help us to see how changes in these factors affect the fish populations without damaging the fish or its habitat.

Progress to Date:
We are currently in the process of doing research on the pupfish. We have found a few sites on the internet with useful information, but a majority pertain to the pupfish habitats in Texas and other areas near the Pecos River. We also hope to get information from an expert at BLM who works with the pupfish on a more regular basis.

Expected Results:
Our expectation from this project is to create a program that will be beneficial to those studying the Pecos Pupfish and the information needed to keep it from becoming endangered. This program would assist in developing conservation measures that may help to maintain pupfish populations in southeast New Mexico.

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