NSW DPI is asking the community to help find two critically endangered inland freshwater fish not seen in NSW for many years – as part of Threatened Species Day today (September 7, 2017).
“On Threatened Species Day, DPI is launching a campaign to find Flathead Galaxias and Murray Hardyheads in inland NSW,” said DPI Senior Fisheries Manager, Dr Trevor Daly.
“There are prizes available – including a day’s guided fishing trip in the Murray River region – for members of the community who help locate either of these two small threatened Australian inland fish,” he said.
“To win a prize, people who think they have found either fish species just need to snap a clear, close-up photo of a live fish and lodge their sighting on DPI’s on-line reporting form.
“DPI scientists will check and verify the report to confirm that it is one of the threatened species.”
Dr Daly said both the Murray Hardyhead and Flathead Galaxias were once widespread in the slowflowing lowland streams and wetlands of the Murray Darling Basin that represent their preferred habitat.
“DPI suspects some of these fish may still persist in farm dams, irrigation channels, ponds or even tanks in inland NSW.
“Fishers may also have accidentally caught them in shrimp traps but not realised what they were.”
Dr Daly said new ‘wanted’ identification flyers have been produced to help people Find a Flaty and find Where’s Murray.
“It won’t be easy to find these fish,” he said. “Not only are they small, but they can be quite difficult to distinguish from other more common species.
“People can check the DPI flyers which highlight the differences between these species and other small fish they are commonly mistaken for,” said Dr Daly.
“Any new information the community can provide is critical to increase our knowledge of the current status and distributions of Murray Hardhead and Flathead Galaxias in NSW and will help keep these fish alive and swimming into the future.”
Dr Daly said there are currently 28 aquatic species listed as threatened in NSW – meaning they risk becoming extinct.
Threatened Species Day is a national day held each year to remember the death of the last remaining Tasmanian tiger in 1936 and promotes the importance of protecting, conserving and improving biodiversity in Australia and around the world.
Source: NSW DPI