CARES Preservation Program



MCAS is proud to be a part of the C.A.R.E.S. Program!

The CARES Preservation Program is based on the critical and timely significance of conservation and awareness of the issues at hand, the public recognition of members, our responsibilities as fishkeepers, member encouragement, sharing of fish and data, and support for those who take part in playing a vital role in ensuring a positive future for species-at-risk.

The purpose of the program is to encourage hobbyists worldwide to devote tank space to one or more species-at-risk while forming an information network among aquarists, scientists, and conservationists.

The CARES Preservation Program has four major objectives:
1. To raise awareness to the critical situation of fish in nature
2. To recognize, encourage, and offer support to
hobbyists who maintain species at risk
3. To share data and experiences through notes, graphing, and manuscripts
so that others may learn to maintain those same (and similar) species
4. To preserve species at risk for future generations

The CARES program is implemented by clubs and societies (such as ours!), as well as educational institutes and independent aquarium retailers. All are welcomed and encouraged to participate!

Where to Start

First, take a look at the list of species-at-risk (last updated 7-10-18) in either .pdf or Excel..

Then, take a trip over to the official CARES website here to register your fish!
You will need the following information:

a) your name
b) your email address
c) your postal address (optional)
d) your telephone number (optional)
e) species name
f) where or from whom obtained
g) collection location, if available
h) when obtained (approximate date is fine)
i) whether or not your colony has produced fry
j) a clear photo of the side of your fish - this is crucial in identification!

None of this information will be shared unless you would like it to be!
We encourage our members to share their information, however, so that other
CARES participates may contact you if they would like to buy fry!

If you'd like more information or help locating a specific species, fill out the
the CARES Preservation Program Search List (.pdf) and email to your rep.

Congratulations! You are now a member!

Why We Need Your Help

Networking on a large scale means data sharing on a large scale. The status of species-at-risk is under constant change as a result of the rapid degradation of the natural habitat. Your help and skills will be invaluable in developing intercommunications to move the CARES program forward with speed and efficiency in the rescue of our fishes from global extinction.

A Message to CARES Participants

The concept of the sharing of data on your experiences with your species at risk is a major objective of the CARES program. Please do the best that you are able to keep a journal and observe your fish. Don't feel daunted by all of the information - your time with the fish is the most important thing! Do remember that through acute observation and accurate records, you will have achieved the highest level of accomplishment, participation, and self-gratification in this program!

Since there is such a diverse variation among species, fish maintenance, and breeding strategies, it is highly encouraged that any of this information be included when registering your fish.

If you have any questions, please contact us! We will be happy to point you in the direction of our CARES representative, who can then help you out further!


Recognition of CARES Preservation Program Members is made through regular publication in our Tropiquarium as well as the CARES Exchange newsletter. An updated list is kept by your CARES representative and by the CARES Preservation Program Support Team.

A CARES Preservation Program Certificate of Recognition is awarded annually for each species registered and accepted into CARES within that year.

Four colored seals (gold, green, blue, and red) as well as the longevity seals are presented annually to be added to the CARES Preservation Program Certificate of Recognition for further recognition of ultimate achievements.

A gold seal is awarded for the achievement of clearing at least one tank and saving a fish through your dedication to, and membership in, the CARES Preservation Program. The gold seal is automatically awarded with receipt of the CARES Preservation Program Certificate of Recognition.

A green seal is awarded for sharing the experiences and knowledge that you have gained regarding your CARES conservation priority species through the submission of an article to the editor of your society’s journal or the webmaster, and the subsequent publication of that article.

A blue seal is awarded for sharing fry of your registered CARES Preservation Program Species-at-Risk with a member of your society and having those fry be registered into your society CARES Preservation Program, or for donating fry of your registered CARES Preservation Program Species-at-Risk to a Species Maintenance Program (SMP).

A red seal is awarded for sharing fry of your registered CARES Preservation Program Species-at-Risk with a hobbyist or school from another society or educational organization who has instituted the CARES Preservation Program and having those fry be registered into that organization's CARES Preservation Program.

For each succeeding year that you continue to maintain a species enrolled in the CARES Preservation Program, a small red longevity seal is added, forming a line across your CARES Preservation Program Certificate of Recognition.

A certificate with four colored seals (gold, green, blue, and red) and a solid row of small red longevity seals is the ultimate level of CARES Preservation Program Membership Achievement per CARES Preservation Program Species.

The CARES Preservation Program "Member of the Year Award" is presented annually. This achievement is awarded to a member of the CARES Program who excels in outstanding overall contributions which help to ensure a positive future for conservation priority fish, openly shares knowledge with others, and altruistically assists fellow hobbyists in their CARES endeavors.