Department reviewing threatened status of White Sands pupfish

SANTA FE – The Department of Game and Fish has initiated an investigation into the White Sands pupfish to determine the appropriate status under the Wildlife Conservation Act.

Found nowhere else in the world, the White Sands pupfish (Cyprinodon tularosa) is endemic to the Tularosa River Basin in southern New Mexico. It was listed as a threatened species by the New Mexico State Game Commission in 1975. Currently occupied habitat is entirely within lands owned by the Department of Defense. The 1 3/4- to 2 1/2-inch silver-scaled pupfish is the only fish native to New Mexico’s Tularosa Basin. Although relatively plentiful where they occur, the pupfish are considered at risk because of their extremely limited distribution.

For more information about the investigation, please contact the department’s Fisheries Management Division, (505) 476-8055. Comments, data, views or information about the biological or ecological status of the species can be sent to If received by May 15, 2018, the information will be placed in a public repository for consideration by the department director.