Partnership to restore aquatic habitat areas affected by Australia bushfires

Macquarie perch (Photo: Department of Primary Industries, New South Wales)

A bushfire recovery program led by agricultural non-profit Landcare Australia, delivered in partnership with fishing conservation charity OzFish and Native Fish Australia (Victoria), will support initiatives to restore habitat for 10 national priority threatened aquatic species in Queensland, Victoria, and New South Wales.

The Landcare Australia Aquatic Wildlife Habitat Bushfire Program is funded by the Australian Government and will deliver support for on-ground activities with local community groups, OzFish chapters, the endangered native fish hatchery run by Native Fish Australia (Victoria), and landowners across 17 bushfire-affected areas.

The funding will provide on-ground bushfire recovery actions for 10 threatened aquatic animals, including six fish species and three species of spiny crayfish.

Native Fish Australia (Victoria) will support fish recovery with its restocking efforts of endangered fish to benefit restoration of local aquatic biodiversity. In collaboration with Landcare Australia, NFA will collect mature Macquarie perch to be used in a breeding program for the species.

These broodfish will be taken to the NFA (Vic) endangered native fish hatchery located at La Trobe University, to produce Macquarie Perch fry. The fry produced will be grown in the hatchery until they reach a suitable size, and then released into the Buffalo River in north-east Victoria once the habitat has sufficiently recovered.

Macquarie perch from the Yarra River population will be used in the breeding program due to their genetic robustness and suitability to be stocked across their previous natural range.

The Landcare Australia Aquatic Wildlife Habitat Bushfire Program is funded by the Australian Government’s Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Recovery program.

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