Shade cloth and poisonous dust: how the red-finned blue-eye was brought back from the brink

Two tiny, silvery fish, one  with red fins and orange tail (male), and the other with colourless fins (female), both with blue eyes, facing each other above a sandy substrate.

The Red-Finned Blue-Eye (Scaturiginichthys vermeilipinnis) is no longer Australia’s rarest freshwater fish.

The last of its tiny kind – all but bullied to extinction by introduced Eastern Mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki), an invasive fish that grows to twice the size and eight times the body mass – were a few years ago confined to a lone artesian spring in outback Queensland.
The species has since been reintroduced to 13 other shallow springs on Edgbaston reserve. The former cattle station, about 1,000km west of Brisbane, is home to 26 species that are found no where else in the world – including the Red-Finned Blue-Eye.
The springs, desert safe-havens of artesian water, are protected by foot-high fences made of shade cloth which keep the Gambusia out and native fish populations in.
Read more at The Guardian