Sunday, 11 February 2018 14:37

Valuable Local Resident!

Did you know we have an endangered native fish, critical in the big fish eat little fish cycle of our Australian river systems, living right on our doorstep?
There is a population of Southern Pygmy Perch living in the Gunning District, one of only 3 known remaining populations in NSW.
Southern Pygmy Perch once inhabited waterways far and wide throughout NSW, including the Lachlan, Murrumbidgee and Murray river systems. They were once so plentiful people would catch them in large numbers and use them as bait fish.

Whilst small, their ongoing survival is important for the survival of many other fish species. Not to mention any loss in biodiversity across our landscape leaves us all the poorer.
Why the Southern Pygmy Perch has managed to hang on in Gunning isn’t entirely clear. They live amongst the aquatic vegetation growing in creeks, dams, billabongs and wetlands. And they have a particular skill for surviving in more stagnant water bodies such as dams and wetlands.

The main threats to Southern Pygmy Perch survival is loss of habitat. Seen as loss of riparian and aquatic vegetation, as well as wetland drainage and regulation. Predation is also a major threat and the main culprit in the Gunning area is the introduced red fin. These aggressive fish compete with Southern Pygmy Perch for habitat but are also known to eat Southern Pygmy Perch.
The long, scruffy grass growing along your creeks and around the edges of your dam may look far from manicured, but to Southern Pygmy Perch this is home sweet home! They need vegetation to shelter in, hunt, regulate water temperature and breed.

Gunning District Landcare now has a Recovery Action Plan in place and are working towards it’s recommendations. Hopefully this means we may even start to see these small fish inhabiting waterways more broadly across our Shire – keep an eye out!

For more information contact; Ruth Aveyard 0447 242 474 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.