XNP project annual report – year 2

The Xiphophorus – Northern Platyfish project has reached the end of its second year in March 2020. Since then, most of our activities have been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. But let's look back at the previous year.

In 2019, IUCN has listed Xiphophorus couchianus and Xiphophorus meyeri as Extinct in the Wild, while Xiphophorus gordoni remains listed as Endangered. It is no surprise, just an official confirmation that we are dealing with very rare fish species.


Between March 2019 and 2020, we have managed to increase numbers of all concerned populations, except for one. Numbers of X. gordoni and the wild variety of X. meyeri were doubled, the mysterious Xiphophorus sp. "Regio" has been spread from 2 keepers and roughly 20 individuals to 4 breeding groups with over a hundred animals. Overall, we keep in the project almost 1200 northern platyfish (compared to 700 one year ago). The positive trend was reached despite the fact that many breeders had difficulties and even lost their fish. On the other hand, we have completely lost Xiphophorus sp. "Apodaca", which was only kept in one group.


Our network has grown from 18 to 23 members from eight countries. New members are ideally living in a reasonable distance from another member, so that we can cooperate more closely, and everyone can have someone nearby for help, fish exchange etc. This is the purpose of the project, building a network that can stay connected, not just giving away fishes in a one-way direction. There are still more people interested to join the project, but since we lost many fish during last year, we need to be very careful not to split the groups too early.


Further information about northern platyfish and/or the XNP project has been published in the French magazine Le Vivipare, German magazine Aquaristik Fachmagazin (266, 268) and Nieuwsbrief Aquariumvereniging Black Molly May/2019 (Netherlands). At the end of 2019, we have published the „Northern Platyfish Husbandry Manual“ which is a result of collaboration between several project members. It can be downloaded by following this link: http://xiphophorus.info/files/XNP_husbandry_manual.pdf


I want to thank all members for their active participation and willingness to help. Even though it can sometimes take more time to actually meet or find the opportunity to transfer fish, everybody is patient. And we are steadily building the network and fulfilling the project's purpose.

Future plans

We need to learn from our own mistakes – many of us had a difficult year and have lost fishes, sometimes even complete groups which were doing great before. We need to split groups more carefully – and act sooner when something goes wrong. We should share more information about diseases and possible treatments. We would love to get Apodaca again and keep it. We should find more interested aquarists to have more groups, preferably in a travelling distance. And we should not give up.

I want to thank once again all members of the XNP project. You are protecting rare species from extinction!


Markéta Rejlková

26.7.2020, Ostrava, Czech Republic

ÖVVÖ Conservation Projects