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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.

City of Moab, Grand County

In celebration of the

Razorback Sucker


This mural is part of a two-phased project of Utah Wildlife Walls to celebrate the Razorback Sucker - one of the endangered fish of the Colorado River.   A collaboration between Utah Wildlife Federation and artist Chris Peterson, the 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.


The current "place-holder" mural is temporary; meant to spark some interest in the species by illustrating a unique adaptation of the Razorback Sucker. We are finalizing plans for a permanent mural at this site later in 2024 to highlight the local habitat conservation work happening in The Nature Conservancy's Scott and Norma Matheson Wetlands Preserve. Stay tuned for more information about the project by signing up for our mailing list below. 


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....

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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Stay in the loop about the final Razorback Sucker mural installation.

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