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Keywords:

  • Barrens topminnow;
  • captive propagation;
  • conservation aquaculture;
  • conservation partnerships;
  • Lake sturgeon;
  • public outreach;
  • reintroduction;
  • restoration

Freshwater ecosystems in the south-eastern United States, a global hotspot for temperate aquatic biodiversity, are increasingly threatened by human activity. For 14 years, the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute has partnered with many other organizations to lead reintroduction programmes for Lake sturgeon Acipenser fulvescens and Barrens topminnow Fundulus julisia. Consistent with our educational mission, new interactive exhibits and outreach programmes have been designed to connect more visitors with these programmes on-site. While aquariums and zoos are natural partners to fulfil the public outreach needs of recovery teams, they have equally important roles within the project team to lead in propagation and reintroduction science. New research initiatives into best practices in captive propagation and conservation planning for imperilled fishes provide scientific leadership to our conservation community that also gives credibility to our work. By preparing for a long-term investment and continuing to foster the good relationships already in place with the public and partners, we hope to continue building upon the success of our reintroduction programmes.