NECA is now a C.A.R.E.S. organization, and we're beginning the process of involving as many of our members as possible in this worthwhile endeavor. Several days ago Greg Steeves and Claudia Dickinson announced the new C.A.R.E.S. website, located at http://caresforfish.org/. As we slowly but surely involve ourselves more intimately in the program, there are a few things that I want to make as clear as possible about NECA, it's relationship with the program, and how YOU, the NECA membership can fully participate.
As an official C.A.R.E.S. participating organization, focusing on cichlids, we want to get as broad a selection of fish incorporated in our efforts. As such, I'm asking each member (and only NECA members can participate in this particular program) to select one species that will be their own maintenance project. Lisa Hoeber is our coordinator, and is keeping a database of every species we in NECA are choosing for our single species, so contact her with your selection, and if it is already taken, please have at least 4 backup selections. Obviously the sooner you select your species, the more likely you are to actually get your first choice. The reason we are restricting this program to only NECA members is because we are committed to making sure that every species that is available anywhere in the populated parts of the United States and Canada. So if the species you select is not easily obtained, we'll work to find it for you, and use our rather extensive network of contacts to get it, if it can be gotten.
When you have either identified that one species you want to register, keep and (hopefully) successfully spawn, you need to register it with C.A.R.E.S. To do so, go their website, click on the rather small envelope link on the lower right corner of the home page, and then fill out the form you find there. Claudia Dickinson and Greg Steeves would like your name, the species you are keeping, where you got it, the date, and whether or not you have a breeding group. And, of course, you need to send a photo of the species. A male is most likely to be the best choice, and although it doesn't have to be professional, it should show a side view of the fish, allowing the C.A.R.E.S. specialist to ID the fish, making sure it is what you believe it to be. Then everything happens automatically, and Lisa Hoeber will let you know what the determination is, and if is is accepted by C.A.R.E.S., she'll keep the records in her own database.
NECA will have one meeting each year, dedicated to our C.A.R.E.S. program, and we will present the appropriate awards to our winning members in each of the categories we will select. We consider this to be an important part of our purpose and look forward to as many participants as possible.
If you have any questions, this post will be permanantely found on the website, www.necichlids.com and Lisa and myself are always happy to answer your questions by PM or email.
By the way, my species is Neochromis sp. 'unicuspid scraper,' which I obtained at our Special Auction on Dec. 17, 2016.