LONDON, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Most people have heard of gold fish, but how about golf fish? Conservationists from Britain have launch a battle to save from extinction a rare breed of fish that's only habitation are golf-course ponds on the paradise island of Bermuda.
Experts from Chester Zoo in northern England have set up a brand new breeding program to help save rare the Bermudian killifish species from disappearing.
The tiny killifish live in just 14 ponds around Bermuda's golf courses. The problem is that the ponds can be very fragile and the smallest change could push them to extinction.
Chester Zoo has joined forces with the Bermudian government to preserve the future of the fish by bringing a number to the zoo. There, experts are battling to breed the species as a vital safety net to the populations in Bermuda.
Many of the ponds have underground links to the sea so the fish have to adapt to different levels of salinity, temperature and dissolved oxygen which vary throughout the year.
"A relatively small change in the local environment could wipe out these species forever, losing millions of years of evolution and further damaging the rich biodiversity of our planet," said a spokesman at Chester Zoo.
The zoo has established a small population of the fish in Chester, setting up the Britain's first ever breeding program for the species.
To help with breeding programme success, zookeepers have tagged the parent fish in the group at the zoo with visible silicone implants to help tell them apart from their offspring.
Dr Gerardo Garcia, a curator at Chester Zoo, said: "Without the existence of these courses and the protection they provide for these surrounding natural water features, unique habitats and species could have been lost.
"We know how perilous the situation is for the Bermudian killifish and we are going to try everything possible to help save them from extinction. We will fight for the future of the Bermudian killifish."
Dr Mark Outerbridge, Wildlife Ecologist at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Bermuda, said: "Chester Zoo has proven to be a valued ally in the ex-situ breeding and husbandry of four island endemics, the killifish, a skink and two species of land snails. Knowing that there are established populations of these very rare animals in captivity outside of Bermuda gives me greater confidence in their longer term chances of survival."