R. Wager and P. Jackson
Environment Australia, June 1993
ISBN 0 6421 6818 0
Species recovery outline: Oxleyan Pygmy Perch
Scientific name: Nannoperca oxleyana
English name: Oxleyan Pygmy Perch
Species taxonomic status: Formally described by Whitley, 1940.
Species survival status: Range severely reduced in recent times.
- Action plan status: Vulnerable.
- Australian Society for Fish Biology status: Endangered.
- Proposed new IUCN criteria status: Vulnerable (habitat alteration, interaction with introduced species).
Former distribution: Probably in most coastal wallum swamps and streams from the Richmond River in northern New South Wales to Tin Can Bay, Moreton Island and Fraser Island in Queensland.
Current distribution: The Oxleyan Pygmy Perch occurs in coastal wallum swamps and streams from the Caboolture Shire north of Brisbane to Moreton Island, Tin Can Bay and Fraser Island. It is found in Blue Lagoon, Craven's Creek and Spitfire Creek on Moreton Island, in the upper Noosa River, Cooloola, and in the Richmond River area of northern New South Wales, including Lake Hiawatha. Remains moderately abundant in the Noosa River.
Habitat: Inhabits coastal wallum swamps, streams and lakes. Usually found amongst or near emergent vegetation (sedges) or near vertical or undercut banks. Often amongst fine rootlets of riparian vegetation growing into the stream. Water is usually organically stained, highly coloured, soft and has a pH less than 6.5–7.0.
Reasons for decline:
- Loss of habitat due to residential housing development, forestry development of exotic pine plantations, mining operations and agriculture.
- May be affected by the introduced gambusia (Gambusia holbrooki) in disturbed habitats and in the Noosa River.
Conservation reserves on which species occurs:
- Cooloola National Park (Qld).
- Fraser Island National park (Qld).
- Moreton Island National Park (Qld).
- Possibly Broadwater National Park (NSW).
Other public lands on which species occurs: Forestry Scientific Reserve near Beerwah (Qld).
Other land on which species occurs: Possibly private land encompassing headwater streams of Lake Weyba, at the mouth of the Noosa River (Qld).
Is knowledge about species adequate for objectives and actions to be defined accurately? (If not provide list of additional studies required): No.
- Need to determine precise distribution, especially in New South Wales.
- Need to determine habitat requirements and environmental tolerances.
- Need to investigate interaction with gambusia.
- Need to assess genetic diversity of disjunct populations.
- Maintain existing populations and maximum genetic diversity.
- Identify the distribution and status of populations within the known range.
- Determine the extent of the distribution and impact of gambusia.
- Develop management plan for conservation of wallum communities and waterbodies in Queensland and New South Wales.
Management actions already initiated:
- Review of the distribution of Oxleyan Pygmy Perch and structure of wallum stream fish communities underway (Centre for Catchment and In-stream Research).
- Small breeding populations maintained by members of the Australia New Guinea Fishes Association.
Management actions required:
- Declaration of additional conservation reserves: No.
- Habitat management: Yes.
- Maintain existing habitat in pristine condition where possible.
- Feral animal control: Yes.
- Eradicate introduced gambusia from conservation reserves.
- Translocation or re-establishment of populations: No.
- Captive breeding:
- Formalise maintenance of captive populations by aquarists.
- Other: No.
Organisations responsible for conservation of species:
- Queensland Department of Primary Industries.
- Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage.
Other organisations or individuals involved:
- Centre for Catchment and In-stream Research, Griffith University.
- Australia New Guinea Fishes Association, Queensland Inc.
Can recovery plan be carried out with existing resources?: No.
- Requires one biologist and technician for two years – $147 000, with operating funds of approximately $33 000 per year.
- Annual monitoring for Honey Blue-eye and Oxleyan Pygmy Perch will require one biologist and one technician for one week – $1 410, plus car hire and camping allowance – $600. The cost of annual monitoring for this species will be $1 000.
Total: $213 000
Annual monitoring: $1 000
- Honey Blue-eyes occur in Cooloola and Fraser Island National Parks and in Mellum Creek Scientific Reserve.
- The Queensland Department of Primary Industries will investigate the value of having this species listed under the Nature Conservation Act 1992. Consultation will occur with the Centre for Catchment and In-stream Research in the development of a management plan.