Aquatic species conservation and research update – Aquasave-NGT 2020/21 Year In Review

As long time readers of the Nature Glenelg Trust newsletter will know, a significant focus for our organisation is freshwater species conservation and research. These activities have been conducted under our ‘Aquasave-NGT’ banner since mid-2012, and continue the legacy of high quality aquatic research commenced by Dr Michael Hammer – who founded Aquasave approximately 20 years ago.

Today the Aquasave-NGT team are fortunate to travel to a growing list of out-of-the-way locations, and help conserve some amazing species – fish and crayfish species, but also frogs and cockles.

In fact, over the past 12 months, the Aquasave-NGT team undertook more than 30 projects and 400 site visits, taking us to many creeks and waterways (and even a beach) across southern Australia.

The team is led by Nick Whiterod with ecologists Ruan Gannon, Sylvia Zukowski and Lauren Brown leading key projects, and casuals Cory Young, Taylar Pay, Scott Huntley, Amelia Diebert and Emma Vanderzon providing fantastic field assistance. Maiko Lutz has recently joined the team to assist with the freshwater fish SEAP project and the Southern Bell Frog facility is supported with expert input from Rupert Mathwin and Regina Durbridge, who has also recently joined the team. There is great project support from across the wider NGT team, including Rose Thompson and Lachie Farrington.

The Aquasave-NGT team has also established collaborations with universities (Deakin University, Charles Sturt University, Flinders University, The University of Adelaide) and NSW DPI Fisheries as well as working closely with state management and research agencies across southern Australia.

In the 2021/2022 year, we will be revisiting some familiar sites as well as some news ones, as we continue working for the conservation of Australia’s native aquatic fauna. Despite lockdowns playing havoc with interstate fieldwork plans, we are already underway with this year’s spring sampling at a number of sites.

Stay tuned for for further updates on specific projects as we get results!

Sylvia Zukowski