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City of Moab, Grand County

In celebration of the

Razorback Sucker

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The new mural on the back of the Moab Information Center is part of Utah Wildlife Walls, a statewide collaboration between artist Chris Peterson and Utah Wildlife Federation. This mural was installed to celebrate the Razorback Sucker and highlight the Nature Conservancy's current local work on behalf of these endangered fish of the Colorado River.  Te mission of Utah Wildlife Walls is to celebrate Utah's wildlife diversity with the installation of monumental local species murals in each of Utah's 29 counties. Moab is an ideal location to celebrate this species because of the local habitat conservation efforts in the valley, at the Matheson Wetlands Preserve.

 

The phase one "place-holder" mural (shown below) was designed to be temporary- installed for two months(March-May 2024) and meant to spark some interest in the species by illustrating a unique adaptation of the Razorback Sucker. We have just completed installing the final mural and are finalizing plans for public outreach later in 2024 to highlight the local habitat conservation work happening in The Nature Conservancy's Scott and Norma Matheson Wetlands Preserve. Stay tuned!

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Restoring habitat for spawning Razorbacks

In order to protect the Razorback Sucker and improve the overall health of their habitat in the Moab area, the Scott M. Matheson Wetlands Preserve has been developing a way to mimic natural flooding patterns to provide a safer place for Razorback Suckers to raise their young. With a higher chance of survival at a young age, the population has begun to grow back and hopefully will be taken off of the endangered list soon.

The Matheson Preserve

The Scott and Norma Matheson Wetlands Preserve in Moab, Utah, is an oasis in the desert—a stark contrast to the surrounding redrock cliffs and arid desert.  Read more....

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from Wikipedia: .....” Razorback (sucker) spends most of its life at depths where UV light cannot penetrate but they move into the shallows for breeding. In the shallows, males stake out a breeding territory and hover near the riverbed. When another male enters the breeding area, the defending male rolls his eyes downward to reveal the upper third of the eye generating a flash of reflected sunlight. The strongest reflected component of the flash lies in the UV spectrum. The intruding male, swimming overhead, can see the flash below and will shy away from it. The eye flashes are not visible from a distance underwater and can thus be used to signal intruding males without alerting predators.

Visit Back of Beyond Bookstore across the street to learn more about the Razorback Sucker & the endangered fish of the Colorado River.

Back of Beyond specializes in natural history and regional titles of the Colorado Plateau, with a curious selection of new, used, and rare books and western ephemera.

Call us: 435-259-5154

83 N. Main St. Moab, Utah

Winter hours! Open 9AM-6PM every day

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