National recovery plan for the Dwarf Galaxias (Galaxiella pusilla)
Stephen Saddlier, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Victoria
Jean Jackson, Inland Fisheries Service, Tasmania
Michael Hammer, University of Adelaide, South Australia, 2010
The Dwarf Galaxias Galaxiella pusilla is a tiny freshwater fish endemic to south-eastern Australia, where it occurs in Tasmania, South Australia and Victoria. The species is listed as Vulnerable under the Australian Government Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and is also designated as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals (IUCN 2003) and on the Australian Society for Fish Biology threatened species list (ASFB 2001).
In Victoria the Dwarf Galaxias is listed as Threatened under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988, and is also considered Vulnerable (DSE 2007). In Tasmania it is classified as Vulnerable under the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 and is considered a ‘priority species requiring consideration’ under the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (1997). In South Australia the species has been proposed as Vulnerable under the ‘Review of the Status of Threatened Species in South Australia’ (DEH 2003).
The Dwarf Galaxias is still widely distributed, but populations are fragmented and patchy across the landscape. It is likely that the species has suffered a significant decline in abundance due to habitat changes to shallow freshwater wetlands, especially wetland drainage. This decline appears to be continuing, as several populations have become extinct in recent decades.
Major threats to the Dwarf Galaxias include wetland drainage, climate change, habitat damage through grazing and lack of regeneration, and feral fish competitors and predators.
This is the first national Recovery Plan for the Dwarf Galaxias, and details its distribution, habitat, conservation status, threats, and recovery objectives and actions necessary to ensure its long-term survival.