Priorities Action Statement - Actions for Darling River Hardyhead population in the Hunter River catchment

Recovery Actions

Advice to consent and determining authorities

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

Community and stakeholder liaison, awareness and education

  • Encourage community reporting of Darling River Hardyhead sightings via the NSW DPI Threatened and Pest Species Sightings Program online form (Medium priority).
  • Implement education initiatives to improve awareness of the status of the Darling River 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 Darling River 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 Darling River Hardyhead (Low priority).

Compliance / enforcement

  • 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 Darling River 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 Darling River Hardyhead habitats in NSW (High priority).

Habitat rehabilitation

  • Undertake work to identify, restore and protect known and potential Darling River Hardyhead habitats and address key threats such as habitat degradation and water quality decline from expanding development (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 Darling River Hardyhead populations (High priority).
  • Actively seek funds through grant schemes or other sources to implement riparian vegetation and water quality improvement projects in priority areas (Medium priority).

Pest eradication and control

  • Investigate and implement integrated management of introduced species in and adjacent to identified Darling River 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 Darling River Hardyhead, particularly the species' ecological role, environmental tolerances, factors influencing population dynamics, age and growth, life cycle and diet (High priority).
  • Undertake research to identify, prioritise and improve understanding of the threatening processes and causes of decline of Darling River Hardyhead (High priority).
  • Monitor populations of Darling River Hardyhead over time to assess trends in abundance and distribution and to identify emerging threatening processes (Medium priority).
  • Actively encourage community involvement in aspects of Darling River Hardyhead recovery including for example, research and monitoring programs (Medium priority).
  • Actively seek grants or investor partnerships to fund research and monitoring programs for Darling River Hardyhead (Medium priority).
  • Obtain and analyse genetic material from remnant populations of Darling River Hardyhead to identify genetic units to inform conservation breeding or translocation (Medium priority).

Stocking / translocation

  • Develop an emergency response policy to guide the collection and captive husbandry of Darling River 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 Darling River Hardyhead (Medium priority).
  • Undertake emergency rescues of Darling River Hardyhead in response to droughts, oil spills/ pollution, detection of biosecurity threats (e.g. disease or pests), or to avoid imminent impacts in accordance with the emergency response policy (Medium priority).
  • Maintain and monitor translocated populations (Medium priority).
  • Implement the NSW Freshwater Fish Stocking Fishery Management Strategy to prevent significant impacts from stocking on Darling River Hardyhead populations (Medium priority).
  • Review and assess the potential of artificial refuge areas for the protection of Darling River Hardyhead (Low priority).

Survey / mapping

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