News - 09 May 2019
Barred Galaxias (Vic)
Conservation status: CRITICALLY ENDANGERED (Vic); ENDANGERED (EPBC Act)
Uplisted since RFA commenced? NO
EPBC Act recovery plan? YES
- The Barred Galaxias is found only in eastern Victoria. It is restricted to one river system, and is known to exist in only 21 locations in this system, in small to medium sized rivers and creeks that extend into upper headwater tributaries. One more population was recently discovered in the Castella forest of Toolangi.
“Deliberate malicious introduction of trout by humans into Barred Galaxias streams has also occurred at sites that are relatively easily accessible. This risk is significantly increased when new access tracks are made into previously inaccessible areas of catchments (e.g. during timber harvesting operations), or where previously existing, though overgrown, tracks are rehabilitated (e.g. for timber harvesting, general access, fire-fighting or back burning operations). Consequently, increased access to remote catchments/streams containing Barred Galaxias due to improved or new roads or tracks also pose a significant threat to this species.”
Source: National Recovery Plan for the Barred Galaxias
Increased sedimentation directly kills the fish, reduces food, spawning and habitat resources for the fish, and exacerbates the impact of low water flows. Experts advise that, “[a]ll forested catchments in eastern Victoria should therefore be managed according to the precautionary principle to protect the condition and habitat of known and potential threatened galaxias populations.” (Forest Industry Taskforce, Summary Report on Threatened Species, March 2017)
Logging recently commenced in known Galaxias habitat in the Castella forests in Toolangi. Despite the requirement in the recovery plan for any new Galaxias populations to be monitored, a new population recorded in this forest, in a logging coupe, has not been monitored. It represents 5% of the known population of this species. Logging continues in the area.