The Action Plan for Australian freshwater fishes
Species recovery outline: Yarra Pygmy Perch
Scientific name: Edelia obscura
English name: Yarra Pygmy Perch
Species taxonomic status: Formally described by Klunzinger, 1872.
Species survival status:
- Action plan status: Vulnerable.
- Australian Society for Fish Biology status: Potentially Threatened.
- Proposed new IUCN criteria status: Vulnerable (habitat alteration).
Former distribution: Coastal drainages of Victoria and South Australia from Dandenong Creek (Melbourne) to eastern South Australia.
Current distribution: Few locations in south west Victoria and south west South Australia.
Habitat: Slow flowing streams or still waters amongst aquatic vegetation.
Reasons for decline: Generally unknown.
- Probably due to generalised destruction of habitat including removal of aquatic and riparian vegetation and drainage of swamps.
- Interactions with introduced species may be implicated in the decline:
- Aggression (fin-nipping, harassment) and predation of juveniles by gambusia (Gambusia holbrooki).
- Predation by redfin (Perca fluviatilis), brown trout (Salmo trutta) or rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) is possible.
- Possibly through large populations of carp (Cyprinus carpio) destroying aquatic vegetation.
Conservation reserves on which species occurs:
- Discovery Bay National Park, Lake Bung Bung (Vic).
- Lower Glenelg National Park (Vic).
- Game Reserve at Mosquito Creek-Bool Lagoon (SA).
- Floating Island Gamr Reserve (Vic).
At present there is limited information on the numbers of individuals at each site and the condition of the populations.
Other public lands on which species occurs: None.
Other land on which species occurs: Within the last 10 years this species has been found in the following streams flowing through private land:
- Crawford River,
- Bridgewater Lakes,
- Darlot Creek,
- Eumeralla Creek,
- Fitzroy River, Surrey River,
- Merri River,
- Spring Creek,
- Woadi Yallock Creek,
- Waurn Ponds Creek,
- Deep Creek (Lancefield),
- Dandenong Creek (now extinct).
Is knowledge about species adequate for objectives and actions to be defined accurately? (If not provide list of additional studies required): No.
- Determine precise distribution and presence of other populations.
- Determine habitat requirements.
- Determine threatening processes.
- Maintain existing populations and habitats.
- Re-establish populations at sites with suitable habitats.
Management actions already initiated:
- Listed under Schedule Two of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act.
- Funding from ANPWS Endangered Species Program for the development of a Recovery Plan.
- Captive populations maintained by N. Romanowski. Other aquarists may maintain individuals or small groups.
Management actions required:
- Declaration of additional conservation reserves: Yes.
- Habitat management: Yes.
- Maintenance and enhancement of habitat is likely to be the most successful protection measure.
- Feral animal control:
- Investigation of potential predators and control techniques.
- Translocation or re-establishment of populations:
- Requires identification of suitable locations and potential donor populations.
- Captive breeding:
- Need to investigate techniques.
- Other: No.
Organisations responsible for conservation of species:
- Victorian Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
- Department of Fisheries, South Australia.
Other organisations or individuals involved:
- Rudi Kuiter.
- Native Fish Australia.
- Nick Romanowski.
Can recovery plan be carried out with existing resources?: No.
- As most of the populations are located in Victoria and all initial work has been done there, the project team should be based there and liaise with South Australian Fisheries. A joint Yarra and Ewen's pygmy perch study team is proposed. One biologist and one technician – $220 500 plus operating funds of $30 000 per year for three years. An additional $20 000 per year for three years is required to undertake fencing.
Total: $370 500