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.

Southern pygmy perch. Photo credit: Luke Pearce

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.

Pudman Creek, site of one of the Southern pygmy perch populations. Photo credit: 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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Southern Pygmy Perch in the Pudman – RipRap Magazine Edition 34: Bringing Back Native Fish

 

Luke Pearce
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