Threatened fish get the clip for conservation: Yarra Pygmy Perch update

Yarra Pygmy Perch, a small bodied freshwater native fish, is thought to be extinct in the wild in the Murray Darling Basin in South Australia, and is severely restricted in the lower South East of SA. Fortunately, a number of back-up populations were established by Aquasave-NGT a number of years ago in private dams.

We recently headed to one such dam at Softfoot Sanctuary in the Hindmarsh Valley with researchers from Flinders University. Sampling at this site showed a robust, healthy fish population. While we were there, we also treated the fish to some genetic testing to help guide future conservation work. The fin clip samples will provide important DNA information through genetic tissue analyses which is important for species management, and will tell us about the genetic fitness of the population. With successful breeding, these fish will ultimately be released back into the wild to ensure wild populations can exist in the future. Without this intervention, this species would have been lost from a part of its range forever.

If you are a dam-owner in South Australia and would like to help conserve a native threatened fish species, please contact Sylvia (email address also below).

This project is supported by the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board.

Sylvia Zukowski