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Extinct habitat, extant species: lessons learned from conservation recovery actions for the Pedder galaxias (Galaxias pedderensis) in south-west Tasmania, Australia

Citation

Chilcott, S and Freeman, R and Davies, PE and Crook, DA and Fulton, W and Hamr, P and Jarvis, D and Sanger, AC, Extinct habitat, extant species: lessons learned from conservation recovery actions for the Pedder galaxias (Galaxias pedderensis) in south-west Tasmania, Australia, Marine and Freshwater Research, 64, (9) pp. 864-873. ISSN 1323-1650 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 CSIRO Publishing

DOI: doi:10.1071/MF12257

Abstract

The Pedder galaxias (Galaxias pedderensis) from Lake Pedder, Tasmania, Australia, is one of the world’s most threatened freshwater fish. The flooding of Lake Pedder in 1972 for hydroelectric power generation caused a major change to the ecosystem that initiated an irreversible decline in the Pedder galaxias within its natural range. The flooding inundated another headwater catchment and native and introduced fish from this catchment colonised the impoundment. Numbers of the Pedder galaxias declined markedly as the impoundment matured and as colonising fish proliferated. Surveys in the 1980s confirmed the parlous state of the population, highlighting the need for conservation intervention. Several urgent conservation actions were undertaken to save the species from extinction. Translocation was considered the most important recovery action, given the critically low numbers in the wild. The species is now extinct from its natural range and is known from only two translocated populations. The conservation program, and specifically the translocation recovery action, saved the Pedder galaxias from extinction. The conservation management was extremely challenging since rapidly declining fish numbers needed timely and critical decisions to underpin the future of the fish. Recommendations are provided arising from this case study to guide conservation of freshwater fish in similar circumstances.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:critically threatened, galaxias conservation, Galaxiidae, habitat alteration, recovery plan, threatened freshwater fish, translocation
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental Science and Management
Research Field:Conservation and Biodiversity
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Objective Field:Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Author:Davies, PE (Professor Peter Davies)
ID Code:89921
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Centre for Environment
Deposited On:2014-03-19
Last Modified:2014-06-10
Downloads:0

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