Save the Spring Pygmy Sunfish from Extinction

The spring pygmy sunfish (Elassoma alabamae) is under a severe and increasing threat of extinction, due to rapid westward expansion of the Huntsville metropolis. Once native to three springfed streams in northern Alabama, this species has already been eliminated from most of its range by either pollution or reservoir formation. The species' final stronghold is in Beaverdam Creek, a 5 mile long tributary to the Tennessee River (Wheeler Reservoir). In the last six months, the city of Huntsville has constructed a sewerline directly adjacent to the creek, which has eliminated at least half of the subpopulations in the stream. See a portion of the damage for yourself:
This activity has also eliminated gene flow between the two remaining subpopulations at either end of the stream, putting them at risk of inbreeding effects and population bottlenecks. Future plans for the area include construction of a suburb to the southeast and an industrial complex within 1/2 mile to the west. Please support the protection of this species by the Endangered Species Act by signing this petition to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Also, please write to Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle to request immediate suspension of this construction.


Mayor Tommy Battle
308 Fountain Circle
Huntsville, Alabama 35801
Telephone: (256) 427-5000
Fax: (256) 427-5257

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