Feds propose endangered status for Tennessee freshwater fish

Barrens topminnow

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed protecting a Tennessee freshwater fish as an endangered species.

The Center for Biological Diversity says the Barrens topminnow is found only in central Tennessee in clear, spring-fed streams on the Barrens Plateau.

The group says that at last count, there were fewer than 400 individuals left and the species is threatened by drought, pollution and predation by non-native mosquitofish.

The center says only five populations of the fish survive in the wild southeast of Nashville.

It says the fish was proposed for Endangered Species Act protection more than four decades ago, and now is on the brink of extinction.

The fish grows to 4 inches long, has flashy colors and swims near the water’s surface, preying on mosquito larvae and other insects.

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