The endangered killifish. *Photo supplied
The endangered killifish. *Photo supplied

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25: Bermuda killifish have been successfully bred at the Vienna Zoological Gardens in Austria.

In 2010, four pairs of the endangered species from the diminishing population in Warwick Pond were sent to Europe as part of a Lifeboat Project.

The first batch resulted in 90 killifish fry, which have since been distributed to local killifish breeders in Vienna.

Their knowledge will be used to help breeding programmes in Bermuda.

Alison Copeland, biodiversity officer for Conservation Services, said: “While it is not intended to bring them back to Bermuda unless we have a major problem, the experts in Austria will be developing a husbandry manual for our own local breeding effort using their expertise to try it on our own here. They have spread the fry out among other local killifish breeders in Vienna.”

These days in Bermuda the number and distribution of killifish has been greatly reduced. But they remain an important species because they are one of the best mosquito-eating fish that are native to Bermuda.

The partnership with the Vienna zoo came about when a scientist with links to the zoo approached the Department of Conservation Services.

Ms Copeland added: “A local Bermuda Fry-Angle Aquarium Society member told the scientist about the endemic killifish which prompted him to come and see us.

“Inquires were made resulting in the necessary research license being granted and the capture of a small population of killifish to transport overseas for safeguarding and breeding.”