EAZA Ex situ Programme (EEP)


(Cyprinodontidae inc. Aphaniidae)

 Alex Cliffe 
Institution:   ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

EAZA Member Area


ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

IUCN Red List status


IUCN Red List EW


Programme roles

Direct Conservation icon  Insurance/Ark
Out of the 78 assessed pupfish species (known total is 137), 44 are known to be threatened and three extinct in the wild. For the Extinct in the Wild species, keeping an ex situ population is their only conservation option. For the other pupfish species, an insurance population is thought to be very important because it is deemed likely that the wild population will be suddenly lost. There is a mandate by IUCN for an insurance population for most of the 44 pupfish species that are known to be threatened, which is why the EEP aims to expand the number of managed species over time, as resources allow. 

 Population Restoration
there may be a potential to re-establish some of the species in their former range (in line with the IUCN Reintroduction Guidelines). This means that providing disease-free, behaviorally competent, and genetically valuable individuals for release into the wild.
Indirect Conservation icon  Research
Research is needed on disease management, population management and reproductive biology which will be used to inform future in and ex situ conservation actions. 

Programme partners

Logo EUAC 2


Programme numbers

11 species are managed in this EEP which can be found below


Conservation status

La Palma pupfish (Cyprinodon longidorsalis)

Extinct in the wild

Charco pupfish (Cyprinodon veronicae)

Extinct in the wild

Potosi pupfish (Cyprinodon alvarezi)

Extinct in the wild

Mezquital pupfish (Cyprinodon meeki)


Julimes Pupfish (Cyprinodon julimes)

Critically Endangered

San Ignacio (Cyprinodon bobmilleri)


Anatolian killifish (Anatolichthys transgrediens)

Critically Endangered

Danford’s killifish (Anatolichthys danfordii)

Critically Endangered

Lake Salda killifish (Anatolichthys saldae)

Not Evaluated

Sirhani killifish (Aphaniops sirhani)

Critically Endangered

Footless killifish (Telia apodus)

Data Deficient

Programme highlights

  • In Zooquaria 111 (Spring 2021) features an article about the Freshwater Teleost RCP on page 16.
  • EAZA published its 2021 Annual TAG report with on page 5 the activities of the Freshwater Teleost TAG. 
  • The International Aquarium Congress will be held in Europe this year. Please visit this website for more information and to register. 
  • Shoal has just released a new report with new species discovered in 2021.
  • Brian Zimmerman (Freshwater Teleost TAG Chair) spoke about the importance of freshwater teleost conservation in this podcast from Inspiring People: Environmental Funders Network. 

LIFE logo with white paddingThis work is supported by the European Union LIFE NGO funding programme. The European Union is not responsible for the views displayed in publications and/or in conjunction with the activities for which the grant is used.