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Mosquito Control Fish May Pose Risk To Ecosystems

User Eustatic via Creative Commons

Mosquito season is going to be bad this year and one of the ways the city of Albuquerque is tackling the problem is by giving out a fish for people to put in birdbaths, ponds and ditches. But the fish can pose a risk to aquatic ecosystems.

The fish is called the Mosquitofish. They are small and grey, and shaped like guppies. And as the name implies, they feed on mosquito larvae.

The mosquitofish is one of the world’s top 50 worst invaders, according to the Global Invasive Species Database.  

“We try to be very careful about making sure that we are not putting these mosquitofish anywhere where they are going to get reintroduced back into the Rio Grande,” said Mark Dimenna, Deputy Director of the Albuquerque Environmental Health Department. He said they are not so worried about the mosquitofish harming native fish in the Albuquerque area. 

Mosquitofish reproduce quickly, they are competitive and aggressive, and they feed on the eggs of other fish and amphibians. According to U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials they have created problems in other parts of New Mexico. 

Bryce Dix is our local host for NPR's Morning Edition.
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