Southern Pygmy Perch in NSW

Southern Pygmy Perch in NSW

Southern pygmy perch are in real trouble in NSW.

This pretty little native fish which grows up to 8cm, was once wide spread through the Southern Murray-Darling basin. Unfortunately, in New South Wales  it now exists in only three small isolated populations, one in the Lachlan Catchment and two in the Murray Catchment.  Each of these populations are very small, isolated and in the mid to upper reaches of small stream.  Historically, the primary habitat for Southern pygmy perch has been lakes, wetlands and billabongs, as well as small streams, it now appears as if they are locally extinct from all but the small streams.

Southern Pygmy Perch Reintroduction Site on the Pudman Creek, Photo Luke Pearce

Southern Pygmy Perch Reintroduction Site on the Pudman Creek, Photo Luke Pearce

Electrofishing

Monitoring to see how the reintroduced populations of Souther Pygmy Perch are going in their new home on the Pudman Creek. Photo Lori Gould

NSW Department of Primary Industries is working with several organisations to try and secure current populations, improve their habitat and increase there distribution, without our help this wonderful little fish will continue to decline and may even become extinct within NSW.

This video provides an insight into the life of this little fish and the important efforts underway to try and secure its future.

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Current projects focusing on Southern pygmy perch in NSW include:

  • Southern pygmy perch population viability modeling, project partners; Murray Local Land Services, Arthur Rylah Institute and NSW Dept of Primary Industries, contact Tara Pitman 02 6051 2250
  • Coppabella Creek Rehabilitation Works; project partners;  Murray Local Land Services,  NSW Dept of Primary Industries and Office of Environment and Heritage, contact Tara Pitman
  • Coppabella Creek Monitoring, project partners; Murray Local Land Services and NSW Dept of Primary Industries, contact Tara Pitman
  • ‘Finding Nanno’, project partners; Holbrook Landcare, Murray Local Land Services and NSW Dept of Primary Industries, contact Kylie Durant 0418 198 522 
  • Upper Billabong Creek Southern pygmy perch habitat mapping, project partners; Holbrook Landcare, Murray Local Land Services and NSW Dept of Primary Industries, contact Kylie Durant
  • Blankey Creek population monitoring, project partners; South East Local Land Services and NSW Dept of Primary Industries, contact Melissa Henry 02 6385 1018
  • Pygmys in the Pudman, project partners Greening Australia, South East Local Land Services and NSW Dept of Primary Industries, contact Lori Gould 0439 030 058
  • Rivers of Carbon, project partners Australian River Restoration Centre and Greening Australia, contact Lori Gould 0439 030 058
  • Wetland Ecology Recovery Program, project partners; NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, National Parks and NSW Dept of Primary Industries, contact Paul Childs (02) 6022 0622

Related Articles

Southern Pygmy Perch in the Pudman – Riverspace Page

Southern Pygmy Perch in the Pudman – RipRap Magazine Edition 34: Bringing Back Native Fish

 

Story contributed by Luke Pearce, NSW Department of Primary Industries

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Luke Pearce

Luke Pearce

Luke has over 10 years’ experience in the conservation of endangered fish and their habitat, leading and developing projects targeted at the recovery and conservation of native fish. He recently completed a Master of Philosophy investigating conservation management of the endangered Southern pygmy perch one such small endangered species with my thesis title being; Conservation management of southern pygmy perch in NSW, in the context of climactic extremes and alien species. This timely work has shown how vital it is that we act now to save endangered species.
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