Wildlife Protection

Protecting native fish and other species

Isolation from other rivers for thousands of years has resulted in the evolution of a unique group of aquatic species at Warm Springs Natural Area. Most significant is the endangered Moapa dace, which is found nowhere else in the world but in these warm, spring-fed waters.

Protection of native fish through habitat restoration and population recovery is a priority at the Warm Springs. Southern Nevada Water Authority outbound linkscientists help protect fish habitat by stabilizing stream banks and channels, restoring and enhancing spring pools, and managing invasive plants and animals.

The SNWA team works to protect native fish by:

  • Installing fish barriers to control the travel of fish populations.
  • Eradicating or controlling non-native species.
  • Restoring and protecting the flow of streams and springs.
  • Stabilizing stream banks and restoring plants along the waterways.
  • Connecting springs with streams to increase spawning opportunities for the Moapa dace.
  • Installing drift stations to improve the dace’s habitat.

In the case of the Moapa dace, these efforts have helped the population of this small fish increase over the past several years.

A February 2018 census conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in cooperation with the Southern Nevada Water Authority and Nevada Department of Wildlife, outbound link found 1,138 Moapa dace. Stream restoration, improved habitat and the removal of non-native fish species have increased the fish population from a low of 459 in February 2008.


Protected species management

In addition to the endangered Moapa dace, other federally and state protected species live at Warm Springs. The property is managed for protected species and rare or sensitive species that could receive protection status in the future due to habitat loss or population declines. Protected species and those considered for protection are identified within:

Endangered Species Act of 1973 outbound link
Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 outbound link
Bald Eagle Protection Act of 1940 outbound link
Nevada Revised Statutes Chapters 501 & 503 outbound link
Nevada Natural Heritage Program outbound link
Nevada At-Risk Species Tracking List outbound link
Nevada Plant and Animal Watch-List outbound link