Foreword / Stewart L. Udall -- Sect. I. The Subjects and Their Plight. Ch. 1. Discovery and Extinction of Western Fishes: A Blink of the Eye in Geologic Time / W.L. Minckley and Michael E. Douglas. Ch. 2. Ichthyological Exploration of the American West: The Hubbs-Miller Era, 1915-1950 / Robert Rush Miller, Clark Hubbs and Frances H. Miller -- Sect. II. Spirals Toward Extinction: Actions and Reactions. Ch. 3. Ghosts of the Green River: Impacts of Green River Poisoning on Management of Native Fishes / Paul B. Holden. Ch. 4. The Desert Fishes Council: Catalyst for Change / Edwin Philip Pister. Ch. 5. Ash Meadows and the Legacy of the Devils Hole Pupfish / James E. Deacon and Cynthia Deacon Williams -- Sect. III. Swimming Against the Current: Ethical, Political, and Other Conservation Tools. Ch. 6. Fishes in the Desert: Paradox and Responsibility / Holmes Rolston III. Ch. 7. Ethics, Federal Legislation, and Litigation in the Battle Against Extinction / Cynthia Deacon Williams and James E. Deacon. Ch. 8. Evolution of a Cooperative Recovery Program for Endangered Fishes in the Upper Colorado River Basin / Richard S. Wydoski and John Hamill -- Sect. IV. Some Concerns, Facilities, and Methods of Management. Ch. 9. Conservation Genetics and Genic Diversity in Freshwater Fishes of Western North America / Anthony A. Echelle. Ch. 10. On the Design of Preserves to Protect Native Fishes / Peter B. Moyle and Georgina M. Sato. Ch. 11. Preserves and Refuges for Native Western Fishes: History and Management / Jack E. Williams. Ch. 12. Conservation of Mexican Freshwater Fishes: Some Protected Sites and Species, and Recent Federal Legislation / Salvador Contreras Balderas. Ch. 13. Hatcheries for Endangered Freshwater Fishes / James E. Johnson and Buddy Lee Jensen. Ch. 14. Reclamation and Alteration as Management Techniques, and a Review of Methodology in Stream Renovation / John N. Rinne and Paul A. Turner -- Sect. V. No Time to Lose: Management for Short-lived Fishes. Ch. 15. Conservation and Management of Short-lived Fishes: The Cyprinodontoids / W.L. Minckley, Gary K. Meffe and David L. Soltz. Ch. 16. Transplanting Short-lived Fishes in North American Deserts: Review, Assessment, and Recommendations / Dean A. Hendrickson and James E. Brooks -- Sect. VI. Problems of Time and Space: Recovery of Long-lived Species. Ch. 17. Management Toward Recovery of the Razorback Sucker / W.L. Minckley, Paul C. Marsh, James E. Brooks, James E. Johnson and Buddy Lee Jensen. Ch. 18. Life History and Management of Four Endangered Lacustrine Suckers / G. Gary Scoppettone and Gary Vinyard. Ch. 19. Ecology and Management of Colorado Squawfish / Harold M. Tyus -- Sect. VII. Epilogue: Swords of the Fathers, Paying the Piper, and Other Cliches. Ch. 20. Western Fishes and the Real World: The Enigma of "Endangered Species" Revisited / James E. Deacon and W.L. Minckley -- Literature Cited -- Index of Common and Scientific Names. In 1961 the Green River was poisoned and its native fishes killed so that the new Flaming Gorge Reservoir could be stocked with non-native game fishes for sportsmen. This incident was representative of water management in the West, where dams and other projects have been built to serve human needs without consideration for the effects of water diversion or depletion on the ecosystem. Indeed, it took a Supreme Court decision in 1976 to save Devils Hole pupfish from habitat destruction at the hands of developers. Nearly a third of the native fish fauna of North America lives in the arid West; this book traces their decline toward extinction as a result of human interference and the threat to their genetic diversity posed by decreases in their populations. What can be done to slow or end this tragedy? As the most comprehensive treatment ever attempted on the subject, Battle Against Extinction shows how conservation efforts have been or can be used to reverse these trends. In covering fishes in arid lands west of the Mississippi Valley, the contributors provide a species by species appraisal of their status and potential for recovery, bringing together in one volume nearly all the scattered literature on western fishes to produce a monumental work in conservation biology. They also ponder ethical considerations related to the issue, ask why conservation efforts have not proceeded at a proper pace, and suggest how native fish protection relates to other aspects of biodiversity planetwide. Their insights will allow scientific and public agencies to evaluate future management of these animal population and will offer additional guidance for those active in water rights and conservation biology.