The Moapa dace (Moapa coriacea) a finger sized fish that lives only in a stream about 60 miles north of Las Vegas, NV has grown in population by 14 percent over the last year, according to a report in the Las Vegas Review Journal. The fish, a member of the cyprinidae and about 3.5 inches in length has reached a population of approximately 654, a number that resulted from a Valentine’s Day 2012 count taken by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The fish was subject to an unexpected die off about five years ago, as well as a wildfire in 2010 that authorities say pushed the population of fish into a small stretch of the stream on the refuge in which the stream flows through. According to the report, the fish is more spread out today than before the fire. The Moapa dace was first put under federal protection in the mid 1960s and will remain under federal protection until the population reaches 6,000 adult fish and 75 percent of its habitat is restored. Currently it is found in the refuge, located in Clark County, on private lands next to the refuge, and in the Warm Springs Natural Area of Nevada. It is not known to reside anywhere else in the United States.