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    13082: Conserving the unique aestivating freshwater fishes in the wetlands of the south-coast of Western Australia

    Salamanderfish sampled from a pool along Chesapeake Road in D’Entrecasteaux National Park. Courtesy Garry Ogston, honours student at Murdoch University.
    Salamanderfish sampled from a pool along Chesapeake Road in D’Entrecasteaux National Park. Courtesy Garry Ogston, honours student at Murdoch University.

    Two endemic species of burrowing freshwater fishes live in south-coastal wetlands between Walpole and Augusta: the Salamander fish and the Black-stripe minnow.

    They are WA's only two freshwater fish species that survive over summer by burrowing into mud (aestivate). Both species rely on groundwater during aestivation and ongoing reductions in rainfall in the region are predicted to severely impact populations.

    This project aims to assess the current status of both fish species to help guide their long-term management.

    This project will:

    • identify the distribution and viability of Salamander fish and Black-stripe minnow populations
    • re-survey historical sites where these species were previously recorded to determine the rate and area of population loss
    • map the distribution of all other native and feral freshwater fishes
    • conduct a multi-media community education campaign to increase awareness of the plight of vulnerable endemic fishes on the south-coast.
    Investment: $ 25 000
    Delivery organisation: Freshwater Fish Group and Fish Health Unit, Estuarine Research Group Murdoch University
    Project duration: April 2014 - December 2015
    Location: Wetlands, streams and rivers between Augusta and Walpole

    More information

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