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 Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

Predator recognition and responses in the endangered Macquarie perch (Macquaria australasica).

Culum Brown, Jennie Morgan


Macquarie perch, Macquaria austaliasica, is an endangered species endemic to southern Australia whose distribution is highly fragmented and continues to decline. Key threatening processes include habitat destruction, dams and weirs, overfishing and interactions with introduced species. Here we examined the responses of small and large Macquarie perch to two native predators and to the introduced redfin perch, Perca fluviatilis. Our results show that Macquarie perch generally show avoidance of large bodied native predators but were attracted to small bodied native predators. Responses to large and small redfin perch lay between these two extremes suggesting that the Macquarie perch do treat these foreign fish as potential threats. Macquarie perch relied on both visual and chemical cues to identify predators, although their response tended to be stronger when exposed to visual cues. The results suggest that Macquarie perch have the capacity to recognise and respond to invasive species in a threat-sensitive manner which has positive implications for the conservation management of the species.

MF13258  Accepted 02 May 2014
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