Part of the fun of the Staff Pick of the Month is finding out why a staff member or volunteer picked a certain species to highlight. Jennifer F., membership program manager, nominated the Banggai cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni) for November because “they are fascinating to watch as they seem to hover in the water like tiny helicopters.”
But it’s not just about how they look or behave. Jennifer is also using the Staff Pick of the Month to highlight a conservation issue. She says, “I think the Banggai cardinalfish should get more attention as they are not only super cool but they are also at-risk due to over-collection in the wild.”
These tropical fish are found only in the waters of the Banggai Islands in Indonesia. Because they live in such a localized area, and their population is not large, they are susceptible to over-collection for the pet fish trade. By raising babies at the Aquarium, we are helping visitors learn more about them without taking them from the ocean.
Jen says, “Every time I watch this little fish I notice something new, and it reminds me all over again why I have loved the Aquarium since I was eight years old.”
You and me and everyone else, Jen.
See these “tiny helicopters” in the Tropic Zone.
Written by Karen Horak, writer-editor, content and digital experience at the Vancouver Aquarium.