Priorities Action Statement - Actions for Murray Hardyhead

Murray hardyheadMurray Hardyhead
© Gunther Schmida

Recovery Actions

Advice to consent and determining authorities

  • Provide information on the distribution of the Murray Hardyhead to local councils and determining authorities to ensure appropriate consideration during development assessment processes (High priority).

Collate and review existing information

  • Compile existing information on Murray Hardyhead and identify knowledge gaps for the purpose of targeting future research activities (High priority).
  • Collate data on the historical distribution of Murray Hardyhead including anecdotal and indigenous knowledge (Low priority).

Community and stakeholder liaison, awareness and education

  • Encourage community reporting of Murray Hardyhead via the NSW DPI Threatened and Pest Species Sightings Program online form (High priority).
  • Implement education initiatives to improve awareness of the status of the Murray Hardyhead and ways to minimise impacts on the species by preparing and distributing appropriate advisory material (Medium priority).
  • Install signs and/or interpretive displays at appropriate locations to assist with identification and awareness of Murray Hardyhead (Low priority).
  • Foster long-term, two-way knowledge transfer and capacity building to enhance the role of indigenous ecological knowledge in the recovery of Murray Hardyhead (Low priority).

Compliance / enforcement

  • Maximise compliance with the ban on collecting Murray Hardyhead by communicating with aquarium enthusiasts using a number of communication mediums (e.g. aquarium industry journals, newsletters, conferences) (High priority).
  • Maximise compliance activities at identified important sites (Low priority).

Enhance, modify or implement NRM planning processes to minimize adverse impacts on threatened species

  • Negotiate with relevant authorities to encourage the identification, assessment, and modification of natural resource management plans and policies to minimise impacts on Murray Hardyhead habitats and water quality (High priority).
  • Implement relevant State policies and programs (e.g. the NSW Diffuse Source Water Pollution Strategy) in an effort to reduce water pollution (particularly chemical pollution from agricultural pesticides) impacts on Murray Hardyhead habitats in NSW (Medium priority).

Habitat rehabilitation

  • Undertake work to identify, restore and protect known and potential Murray Hardyhead habitats and address key threats such as habitat degradation and water quality (High priority).
  • Actively seek funds through grant schemes or other sources to implement riparian vegetation and water quality improvement projects in priority areas (High priority).
  • Undertake priority rehabilitation, restoration and enhancement work (e.g. rehabilitating riparian vegetation, cold water pollution reduction measures, reinstating large woody debris, removal of barriers to fish passage, removal of willows from riverbanks, sediment and erosion control measures) at key sites known to support Murray Hardyhead populations (High priority).
  • Allocate and manage environmental water flows in regulated rivers to restore natural seasonal flow patterns, and to reduce the impact of cold water downstream of dams (Medium priority).

Pest eradication and control

  • Investigate and implement integrated management of introduced species in and adjacent to identified Murray Hardyhead habitats and take action to prevent the spread of introduced species into these habitats (Medium priority).

Research / monitoring

  • Conduct research on the biology and ecology of Murray Hardyhead, particularly the species' ecological role, environmental tolerances, factors influencing population dynamics, age and growth, life cycle and diet (Medium priority).
  • Monitor Murray Hardyhead populations over time to assess trends in abundance and distribution and to identify emerging threatening processes (Medium priority).
  • Undertake research to identify, prioritise and improve understanding of the threatening processes and causes of decline of Murray Hardyhead (Medium priority).
  • Obtain and analyse genetic material from remnant populations of Murray Hardyhead to identify genetic units to inform conservation breeding or translocation (Medium priority).
  • Actively encourage community involvement in aspects of Murray Hardyhead research and monitoring programs (Low priority).
  • Actively seek grants or investor partnerships to fund research and monitoring programs for Murray Hardyhead (Low priority).

Stocking / translocation

  • Implement the NSW Freshwater Fish Stocking Fishery Management Strategy to prevent significant impacts from stocking on Murray Hardyhead populations (High priority).
  • Develop an emergency response plan to guide the collection and captive husbandry of Murray Hardyhead. The policy should address the circumstances in which wild individuals may be collected, held and re-released, and identify holding facilities, potential funding sources and legal requirements (Medium priority).
  • Identify potential candidate sites for possible future translocation of Murray Hardyhead (Medium priority).
  • Undertake emergency rescues of Murray Hardyhead in response to droughts, oil spills/ pollution, detection of biosecurity threats (e.g. disease or pests), or to avoid detrimental impacts (Medium priority).
  • Review and assess the potential of artificial refuge areas for the protection of Murray Hardyhead (Medium priority).
  • Maintain and monitor translocated populations (Low priority).
  • Conduct research to evaluate the effectiveness of translocation of adult fish compared to stocking of juveniles to inform future conservation actions (Low priority).
  • Conduct targeted sampling at stocked sites to assess the status of stocked populations including growth and recruitment rates (Low priority).
  • Liaise with Victorian and South Australian jurisdictions to obtain broodstock for captive breeding (Low priority).

Survey / mapping

  • Conduct targeted surveys to determine the current distribution and abundance of Murray Hardyhead (High priority).
  • Collect data on the presence/absence of Murray Hardyhead during incidental surveys (Medium priority).