PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – The tiny fish known as Borax Lake chub has come back from the brink of extinction and federal officials say they will propose removing protections for the species under the Endangered Species Act.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the fish, which measures only about 2 inches fully grown, lives only in the waters of Borax Lake in southeast Oregon.
The lake waters fed by geothermal springs can range from 61 to 100 degrees and contain high levels of borax, arsenic and lead. The chub is the only animal known to live there.
When geothermal projects, shoreline degradation from off-road vehicle use and development threatened them in 1980, the fish was granted Endangered Species Act protection, which safeguarded their habitat.
Since then, the population has boomed. In the mid-1980s, the fish’s population dipped as low as 5,000. By 2015, the Center for Biological Diversity said the number approached 80,000.
Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com