We are very rapidly growing the list of priority species listed in the CBP program. Great! But questions are arising about some species that are so common in the hobby that they are used as feeder fish , and about species that are not on either of the base lists that we want to add. 'Common' Priority List Species - Dr. Paul V Loiselle has stated many times that the best thing that can happen to a threatened species is for it to become a popular success in the hobby and cultured on fish farms in huge numbers. A good examples are the white cloud mountain minnow (Tanichthys albonubes), the rainbow fish Melanotaenia boesmani and M. lacustris, the Celebes rainbow (Telmatherina ladigesi) and the Lake Malawi cichlid Pseudotropheus demasoni. All of them are produced commercially, continue to be popular in the hobby and are not going to disappear from the hobby. But they are still vulnerable (or worse) in the wild. If the species qualifies based upon its IUCN Redlist or CARES status, then it will be on our priority list. A big part of this program is awareness education. If a new hobbyist, or old hobbyist new to the idea of conservation priority, discovers that these common fish are threatened, then the program is being successful. Fish that are not on either CARES or the IUCN Redlist... There are two situations that would result in us needing to research or get some advice on the relevance of adding a species due to its vulnerability in the wild. One, the IUCN redlist states 'data deficient', 'conservation dependent' or 'needs updating'. For example, the cherry barb is listed as 'conservation dependent', which means that if whatever conservation efforts are being done were to stop, the fish could go extinct within 5 years. In a case like this we turn to other experts, and in the case of cherry barbs we are told by knowledgeable people that cherry barbs are very vulnerable in the wild, but difficulty getting into Sri Lanka to study what is going on prevents the UCN list from being updated officially... so we include Puntius titteya on out list. Two, both the CARES Priority list and the IUCN Redlist are woefully incomplete. So if we get a hint that a species should be listed as a priority, then we do the research, find the experts and make a judgement call. For example, neither list includes the diamond tetra (Moenkhousia pittieri), but we know from export reports and a well-weritten article in TFH from a couple years ago that the lake this fish is found in is so heavily polluted that the species is now lives only in one small tributary to the lake... not even its natural habitat (the lake). So we will include diamond tetras (if someone has them and lists them). Species at risk of being lost to the hobby, but are not threatened in the wild... This is the tricky one. Yes, we want to think about fish that are rare in the hobby. But, if the fish is not at risk in the wild, should we make it a priority? I think so, but the criteria to do so must be a combination of things: legal/logistical barriers to commercial import from the wild legal/logistical barriers to hobby collection from the wild lack of commercial or hobby reproduction rarity in the hobby (nationwide... not just locally) Another concept that has popped up is one we should discuss.... hybrid risk. There are some species that are not threatened in the wild, but the risk of hybridization in the hobby is very high. Two fish come to mind very quickly: Endler's live bearers (Peocilia wingei) and the three-spot cichlid from Central America (Amphilophus trimaculatus). Both are used (and abused) to produce colorful hybrids. I am not calling for a boycott of hybrid fish. If we want to list these species as priority in order to preserve the non-hybrid species, then we will need to add a source criteria for including a keepers' fish in the program. In other words, just saying you have some Endler's will not be enough. THere are too many being sold as pure species that are not. Just as there are a lot of colorless flowerhorn cichlids sold as trimacs. I suggest that in the case of fish that we want to add due to hybrid risk (Randy started a thread on Endler's already), that we designate a manager for the species. That person would be responsible for verifying the legitimacy of a keepers' strain. This cannot be solely based on what the fish looks like... because many hybrid lines look ok. The key will be source material. The manager would be responsible for maintaining a list of vetted sources outside the club. Once the lines are in the club, we SHOULD be able to say that they are ok if they are coming from a member participating in the program. This requires that everyone be responsible enough to NOT add fish from outside the program unless they know that they are OK.