The Rio Grande bluntnose shiner, Notropis simus simus, and the phantom shiner, Notropis orca, once occupied warm water reaches of the Rio Grande in New Mexico, but have not been collected there since 1964 and 1949, respectively. Notropis s. simus was widespread and common until 1950; N. orca was apparently never abundant. Our collections indicated that both forms are extirpated from New Mexico, and each may be extinct. Two other cyprinids, Rio Grande shiner, Notropis jemezanus, and speckled chub, Hybopsis aestivalis, also disappeared from the Rio Grande around 1949 and 1964, respectively. A fifth cyprinid, the Rio Grande silvery minnow, Hybognathus amarus, is presently reduced in distribution and abundance. Irrigation withdrawals and mainstream dams altered natural discharge patterns of the Rio Grande prior to 1930 and probably reduced populations of this suite of mainstream fishes. Drought and increased water withdrawal after 1950 periodically dried extensive reaches of warm water Rio Grande habitat and probably eliminated remaining small populations of the aforementioned species except H. amarus. Life history attributes of N. s. simus, and the distribution and habitat of all of the other extirpated forms do not indicate special requirements other than a flowing mainstream environment. Short-lived fishes that occupy exclusively mainstream riverine environments are especially susceptible to extirpation when flow regimes are altered.
Bestgen, Kevin R. and Steven P. Platania. "Extirpation of N otropis simus simus (Cope) and N otropis orca Woolman (Pisces: Cyprinidae) from the Rio Grande in New Mexico, with Notes on Their Life History." (1990). http://digitalrepository.unm.edu/occasionalpapers/9