CSIRO Publishing blank image blank image blank image blank imageBooksblank image blank image blank image blank imageJournalsblank image blank image blank image blank imageAbout Usblank image blank image blank image blank imageShopping Cartblank image blank image blank image You are here: Journals > Wildlife Research   
Wildlife Research
Journal Banner
  Ecology, management and conservation in natural and modified habitats
blank image Search
blank image blank image
blank image
  Advanced Search

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Structure
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Sample Issue
For Authors
General Information
Submit Article
Author Instructions
Open Access
For Referees
Referee Guidelines
Review an Article
Annual Referee Index
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates
Library Recommendation

blue arrow e-Alerts
blank image
Subscribe to our Email Alert or RSS feeds for the latest journal papers.

red arrow Connect with us
blank image
facebook twitter logo LinkedIn


Article << Previous     |         Contents Vol 34(2)

Recovery of the red-finned blue-eye: an endangered fish from springs of the Great Artesian Basin

R. Fairfax A, R. Fensham A F, R. Wager B, S. Brooks C, A. Webb D, P. Unmack E

A Queensland Herbarium, Environmental Protection Agency, Mt Coot-tha Road, Toowong, Qld 4066, Australia.
B CRFH Pty Ltd, PO Box 106, Esk, Qld 4321, Australia.
C Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, GPO Box 46, Brisbane, Qld 4001, Australia.
D School of Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Douglas, Qld 4811, Australia.
E Integrative Biology, 401 WIDB, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, USA.
F Corresponding author. Email: rod.fensham@epa.qld.gov.au
PDF (358 KB) $25
 Export Citation


The red-finned blue-eye (Scaturiginichthys vermeilipinnis) is endemic to a single complex of springs emanating from the Great Artesian Basin, Australia. The species has been recorded as naturally occurring in eight separate very shallow (generally <20 mm) springs, with a combined wetland area of ~0.3 ha. Since its discovery in 1990, five red-finned blue-eye (RFBE) populations have been lost and subsequent colonisation has occurred in two spring wetlands. Current population size is estimated at <3000 individuals. Artesian bores have reduced aquifer pressure, standing water levels and spring-flows in the district. There is evidence of spatial separation within the spring pools where RFBE and the introduced fish gambusia (Gambusia holbrooki) co-occur, although both species are forced together when seasonal extremes affect spring size and water temperature. Gambusia was present in four of the five springs where RFBE populations have been lost. Four out of the five remaining subpopulations of RFBE are Gambusia free. Circumstantial evidence suggests that gambusia is a major threat to red-finned blue-eyes. The impact of Gambusia is probably exacerbated by domestic stock (cattle and sheep), feral goats and pigs that utilise the springs and can negatively affect water quality and flow patterns. Three attempts to translocate RFBE to apparently suitable springs elsewhere within the complex have failed. Opportunities to mitigate threats are discussed, along with directions for future research to improve management of this extremely threatened fish and habitat.

Subscriber Login

Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help


© CSIRO 1996-2016