Del Rio’s endangered species mural to be painted this week, a celebration slated for October 16
DEL RIO, Texas– The Center for Biological Diversity and Casa de la Cultura in Del Rio will host a community event on October 16 to celebrate a new mural of the Mexican Blindcat, an endangered catfish found in underground aquifers on both sides of the river. US-Mexico border in southern Texas and northern Coahuila. The 25-square-foot painting will be the final installment of the Centre’s national endangered species mural project, which showcases endangered plants and animals that are unique to their regions.
Who: The celebration will feature artist Roger Peet, who coordinates the Centre’s mural project; Lupita de la Paz, Executive Director of Casa de la Cultura in Del Rio; Sarah Howard, National Park Service biologist at Amistad National Recreation Area; and Andy Gluesenkamp, ââdirector of conservation at the San Antonio Zoo. Community members are invited to help paint from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. today and October 12 and 13, before the October 16 celebration.
What: Free community celebration with live music and refreshments. Vaccines, masks and social distancing encouraged.
Or: 100 E Losoya Street, Del Rio, Texas 78840
When: Saturday, October 16, 5:30 p.m. CT
“It’s exciting to have the opportunity to paint a mural of this elusive and fascinating animal, whose underground cross-border existence really shows just how arbitrary the lines we draw to divide us are,” the artist said. Roger Peet.
âWe are very happy to be part of this project. Not only does it beautify our downtown neighborhood, it also brings knowledge, which we can never take away from those who are ready to learn. We look forward to passing through this street and having the reminder of the importance of art and preservation, âsaid Lupita de la Paz, Executive Director of Casa de la Cultura, a community organization that strives to make the arts and literacy accessible and affordable.
âEnding extinction, fighting for social justice and maintaining a livable climate all have common causes and solutions,â said Tierra Curry, senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity. âOur mural project connects communities to emphasize that the well-being of humans and wildlife is intertwined and that all struggles for justice must be simultaneous and urgent. “
Wall painting project background
The Centre’s endangered species mural project has now installed more than 20 murals, including a jaguar in Tucson, Arizona; a Mexican wolf in El Paso, Texas; Austin blind salamanders in Austin, Texas; a flattened falcon in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico; and monarch butterflies in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The project is led by Portland, Ore. Artist Roger Peet, who is teaming up with local artists and community groups to bring larger-than-life endangered species into public spaces to increase appreciation for the regional biodiversity that makes places special. The project aims to celebrate endangered local species and encourage people to make connections between conservation and community strength.
Context of the case
Mexican blind cats are catfish that only live in groundwater up to 2,000 feet underground in the Edwards-Trinity Aquifer underlying the Rio Grande Basin in Texas and Coahuila, Mexico. They are about five inches long and have a pinkish appearance due to the translucent skin that lets their blood vessels show through.
The muzzle of the blind cat hangs over its mouth, which, together with the keen smell of fish, helps it to hunt macroinvertebrates. Their lateral lines help them detect movement in the water. Blind cats swallow any small prey they come across, although they can survive long periods without eating.
Although most people will never see these fish, they are important because their health reflects the health of the groundwater in which they live. Humans are completely dependent on the supply of groundwater for drinking water and other uses.
Once thought to live only in Mexico, the discovery of the Mexican blind cat in Texas in 2015 shows that the watershed is connected across the border and reflects the connection of human and natural communities between the two. country. The blind cat was protected under the United States Endangered Species Act in Mexico in 1970 and is now also protected in the United States.
The biggest threats to the survival of the blind cat are the overuse of groundwater and pollution. The bedrock layers of the Edwards-Trinity Aquifer are very porous and the water is vulnerable to contamination from agriculture, development and fossil fuel extraction.
The San Antonio Zoo’s Conservation and Research Department houses Mexican blind cats in a special area for cave and aquifer species. This area is closed to the public in hopes of establishing a captive breeding population to ensure the species is not endangered.