BANGGAI RESCUE — Adventures in Bringing Pterapogon kauderni back from the Brink
One of the most beguiling fishes from the dazzling world of coral reefs, the Banggai Cardinalfish, Pterapogon kauderni, is a darling of the marine aquarium hobby. It is loved for its distinctive silver, black, and white coloration, elaborate finnage, interesting behaviors, and highly unusual breeding habits—the male mouthbroods eggs and fry, releasing perfect miniatures of the adults when they are ready to fend for themselves.
The Banggai Cardinalfish may also have the distinction of becoming the first coral reef fish driven to extinction or local extirpation by collectors in Indonesia supplying the world’s marine aquarium trade.
To avert this possibility, an interdisciplinary group has formed to produce a landmark book that they hope will change the ominous current trajectory of this species.
Authors and participants in the BANGGAI RESCUE Project will include marine biologists in the fields of marine fish reproduction, fish diseases, reef ecology, fisheries management, aquarium husbandry, and captive breeding, as well as a seasoned journalist to document everything.
The leading book publisher in the marine aquarium field has agreed to publish the entire story of the Banggai Cardinalfish, along with new field research, new underwater photography, and new protocols for captive culture of the species.
Mounting a research and broodstock collection expedition to the Banggai Islands will be very expensive. The publisher will defray the costs by marketing and selling the book in print hardcover, quality softcover, and e-book editions. “This is the collaboration of a small, for-profit entrepreneurial company and a group that sees a grave situation and wants to correct it,” says Reef to Rainforest publisher James Lawrence.