The Action Plan for Australian freshwater fishes
Species recovery outline: Elizabeth Springs Goby
Scientific name: Chlamydogobius sp.A
English name: Elizabeth Springs Goby.
Species taxonomic status: Not yet formally described. Closely related to the desert goby (Chlamydogobius eremius) but there are some consistent colour, scalation and morphological differences.
Species survival status: Available habitat has been severely reduced since European settlement. Remaining habitat is extremely threatened.
- Action plan status: Endangered.
- Australian Society for Fish Biology status: Endangered.
- Proposed new IUCN criteria status: Critical (habitat alteration).
Former distribution: In central Queensland throughout the Elizabeth Springs complex and the outflow stream, Spring Creek.
Current distribution: Only in Elizabeth Springs.
Habitat: Artesian springs
Reasons for decline:
- The water level and outflow of Elizabeth Springs is decreasing due to a reduction in the water table caused by water extraction through artificial bores.
- Habitat destruction due to trampling by domestic stock.
Conservation reserves on which species occurs: None
Other public lands on which species occurs: None
Other land on which species occurs: Springvale Station.
Is knowledge about species adequate for objectives and actions to be defined accurately? (If not provide list of additional studies required): No.
- Confirm specific status.
- Determine environmental requirements.
- Restrict access of domestic stock, but need to allow some grazing to limit growth of emergent vegetation.
- Restore water table to increase level of water in springs and outflowing stream.
- Identify suitable springs for the establishment of additional breeding populations.
- Prevent invasion by introduced fishes, particularly gambusia (Gambusia holbrooki).
Management actions already initiated:
- Two small populations maintained by members of the Australia New Guinea Fishes Association.
Management actions required:
- Declaration of additional conservation reserves: Yes.
- No reserves known in the current distribution. Reserves may allow control of domestic and feral grazing animals but would probably not address the level of the water table.
- Habitat management: Yes.
- Investigate methods of increasing the level of the water table.
- Feral animal control: Yes.
- Control access of domestic and feral animals to springs.
- Translocation or re-establishment of populations: Yes.
- Need to identify suitable habitat.
- Captive breeding: Yes.
- Formalise and increase size of captive populations.
- Other: Yes.
- Initiate monitoring program.
Organisations responsible for conservation of species:
- Queensland Department of Primary Industries
- Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage.
Other organisations or individuals involved:
- Rob Wager, Steve Brooks and Peter Unmack, Australia New Guinea Fishes Association.
Can recovery plan be carried out with existing resources?: No.
- One biologist and technician for one year – $73 500, with $25 000 operating funds.
- Cost of monitoring this species would be included in an annual program to monitor artesian spring fish populations (Red-finned Blue-Eye, Elizabeth Springs Goby and Edgbaston goby). See Red-finned Blue-Eye for details.
Annual funding required for monitoring of this species would be $3 020. This will not be required until the completion of part 1.
Total: $98 500
Annual monitoring: $3 020
- The Queensland Department of Primary Industries will investigate the value of having this species listed under the Nature Conservation Act 1992.