Photo credit: Matt Filsinger, USFWS
Rio Grande chub (Gila pandora) | ESA status: petitioned for listing
Rio Grande chub
This small fish was once the most common in the Rio Grande. Now it has been extirpated from the mainstem of the Rio and survives only in isolated tributaries.
Rio Grande chub habitat
The chub is found in rivers of Rio Grande basin, mainly in Colorado and New Mexico. There is an isolated population in Texas. The chub’s population has been reduced by as much as 75 percent. It used to inhabit the majority of the mainstem of the Rio Grande, but is now only found in select tributaries.
What are the threats to the Rio Grande chub?
Water withdrawal from the river, mainly for agriculture, has fragmented and destroyed chub habitat. Non-native fish such as the northern pike and brown trout eat the chub. And climate change is a looming threat, with higher temperatures and lower water levels on the horizon.
What WildEarth Guardians is doing to protect the Rio Grande chub
In 2013, Guardians submitted a scientific petition requesting listing for the chub under the Endangered Species Act. The petition received a positive 90-day finding, the first step in the listing process, in March of 2016. Guardians also helped stop a dam project that would have destroyed a newly discovered population of the chub in the Rio Grande mainstem.