Southern Purple Spotted Gudgeon Recovery
THE SOUTHERN PURPLE SPOTTED GUDGEON: GOING HOME AT LAST
The Southern Purple Spotted Gudgeon - an endangered native fish once thought to be extinct - will be reintroduced into the wild following a collaborative effort between a number of community groups and the Government.
The Southern Purple Spotted Gudgeon now has a real chance of long term survival as a result of a successful captive breeding program and a donation of 30 megalitres of water for the Paiwalla wetland.
The project has been a partnership involving the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board, Native Fish Australia, the Paiwalla Wetland Habitats Trust, the Department of Environment and Heritage, the Department for Water Land and Biodiversity Conservation and Healthy River Australia.
The fish species will be reintroduced at Paiwalla, with donation of water from Healthy Rivers Australia’s Community Environmental Water Bank.
The Paiwalla Wetland is located between Murray Bridge and Mannum and covers 60 hectares. It is managed by the Paiwalla Wetlands Habitat Trust (http://www.airspeed.com.au/paiwalla) and has been restored to its original wetland state, following use as an irrigated pasture. It is now a refuge area for some significant native species including the Southern Bell Frog, the Broad-shelled Tortoise and the Large-footed Myotis bat. Significantly, it has no exotic fish species, only natives.
Thought to have been extinct since the early 1970s, the Southern Purple Spotted Gudgeon was rediscovered in 2004. In 2007, the last remaining 50 were recovered from drying wetlands through work lead by Native Fish Australia. Healthy Rivers Australia assisted with finding refuge areas.
Healthy Rivers Australia worked with Native Fish Australia, the SA Department of Environment and Heritage and the SA Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resource Management Board on a captive breeding program, which has lead to the fish now being released into the wild at Paiwalla.
Where is the water coming from?
Healthy Rivers Australia receives water donations from licence holders and also purchases water from the water market with money donated to a public fund. A large proportion of the water for Paiwalla is coming from a water donation made by a NSW licence holder.
What happens next?
Healthy Rivers Australia wants to help secure water for at least the next five years for the Southern Purple Spotted Gudgeon. If you can help, contact us to donate water or make a financial donation.