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Goby Gobsmack!

The recent find of a population of Edgbaston goby in a bore drain left fish ecologist Dr Adam Kerezsy gobsmacked!

Edgbaston goby (male) - image courtesy Dr Adam Kerezsy.

The find occured when Adam was conducting a survey of bore drains in the Aramac area for the presence of the feral fish, gambusia. Needless to say, he was fairly surprised and very excited by the find, which happened, ironically, just after he had assured Ravenswood owners, David and Liz Wehl, not to worry, he wasn’t going to find anything special in their bore drain.

Well he did, and the Wehls were just as excited and surprised. “These drains have been flowing for close on 120 years I guess,” said David. “At different times they’ve been cleaned out, different things have been done to them - they’ve changed course - and I was a bit surprised to see them here.”

"I think it will change the way we use this little paddock anyway; we certainly will look after this a bit for them.”

Also known as mosquito fish, gambusia were introduced from America in 1925 to combat mosquito larvae, but proved far more efficient at preying on native fish eggs and young, and they also displace adult populations through vigorous reproduction and aggressive competition for resources.

Male goby guarding eggs - image courtesy Dr Adam Kerezsy.

Knowing where gambusia are, helps us in planning management actions that assist in protecting high-value environmental areas like the Edgbaston Spring complex, home to the critically endangered red-finned blue-eye and Edgbaston goby. These are Queensland’s most endangered and second most endangered fish, respectively.

We will now be seeking funding to conduct a more detailed survey of other permanent waters in the Cooper Creek catchment to provide better information on feral and native fish.

The recent revelation that an estimated 75% of Australia’s biodiversity is largely unknown means there are still lots of exciting things out there to be discovered.



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Desert Channels Queensland

DCQ Area Management Plan (audio)

Prickly acacia eradication goal (audio)

Prickly acacia eradication (read)

One million prickly acacia trees (read)

Weed control on bore drains (read)

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Gidgee Control Area Management Plan Information - Under the heading "Existing AMPs" are the "Desert Channels AMP" and "Desert Channels map" links. Also on this page is the link to the notification form (for clearing) under the heading "How do landholders or organisations clear under an approved AMP?"

Click here to download a spreadsheet for calculating the number of immature gidgee trees to be retained during thinning operations