Lake Pedder Galaxias

Lake Pedder Galaxias (Galaxias pedderensis) is Australia's most endangered freshwater fish. It is a small, shy fish whose only habitat was flooded in 1972. It was endemic to Lake Pedder. In the same year the lake was flooded, 350,000 trout were put into the lake and they, together with another fish species, predated on the smaller Lake Pedder fish. By 1990 the fish were endangered and only a handful could be found in the creeks flowing into the lake.

In an Australian first, Lake Oberon in the Western Arthur Range was chosen as a safe alternative habitat for the fish, and in 1992, just 31 fish were translocated there. The Lake Pedder Galaxias is now extinct in its only natural habitat. It is, however, the first fish in Australia to be saved from extinction and relocated to live in the wild again. The population at Lake Oberon is thriving.

Further reading: P Hamr, 'Conservation of Galaxias pedderensis', Occasional Report 92, Inland Fisheries Commission, Tasmania, 1992.

Lynn Davies