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Gadopsis bispinosus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII PERCIFORMES PERCICHTHYIDAE

Scientific Name: Gadopsis bispinosus
Species Authority: Sanger, 1984
Common Name(s):
English Two-spined Blackfish

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2007-03-09
Assessor(s): Jenkins, A., Kullander, F.F. & Tan, H.H.
Reviewer(s): Collen, B., Darwall, W., Ram, M. & Smith, K. (SRLI Freshwater Fish Evaluation Workshop)
Justification:
Assessed as Least Concern due to its wide distrbution and the lack of any known major widespread threats. Although this species has been declining in a small part of its range (in the Australian Capital Territory), it is thought that similar declines are unlikely to be occuring throughout its entire distribution.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to south-eastern Australia. Its distribution covers a narrow band from north-eastern Victoria, extending through south-eastern New South Wales (NSW) to the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), which is at the northern extremity of its range (ACT Government 1999).

An extensive survey of the NSW southern highlands (Lintermans 1998) located G. bispinosus in the following stream systems:
- Upper Murray, including the lower reaches of the Swampy Plains, Tooma and Geehi Rivers;
- Upper Tumut system, including the lower reaches of the Goobarragandra River;
- Goodradigbee River;
- Mountain Creek; and
- Upper Murrumbidgee River between Yaouk and Cooma.

In the ACT, the species is now found only in the Cotter River catchment upstream of the Cotter Dam.
Countries:
Native:
Australia (Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Victoria)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species has suffered a serious decline in population or distribution in the ACT region; determined from evidence based on direct observation, including a comparison of historical and current records (ACT Government 1999). G. bispinosus is reported to be relatively abundant throughout other parts of its range (Jenkins, pers. comm).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: G. bispinosus is a demersal fish that is restricted to cool, clear, upland or montane streams with abundant in stream cover, usually in the form of boulders and cobble. It is often found in medium to large streams where there is lower stream velocity. It is generally found in forested catchments, where there is little sediment input to the stream from erosion or land management practices (ACT Government 1999).

It is a nocturnally active species which usually occurs solitary. Juveniles are often found in large groups among leaf litter and wood debris. Movements are restricted to a relatively small stretch of river over the duration of the life span; the home-range of adult fish is estimated at approximately 15 meters.

Breeding is seasonal, with egg-laying commencing in November, probably induced by a relatively rapid rise in water temperature. Fecundity is low and is positively correlated with fish length. Females are though to commence breeding in their second or third year. Between 80 and 420 eggs are laid in a single egg mass but the natural spawning sites are unknown (ACT Government 1999).
Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is occasionally caught by recreational fishers targeting trout, although it is not a desirable target due to its small size. Therefore, overfishing is unlikely to be the primary cause of the decline of this species, but the sedimentation of streams which smothers food supplies and spawning sites is sited as a major threat to this species in the ACT region. Interactions with introduced fish species (such as trout) are also implicated in its decline (ACT Government 1999). It is probable that the threats to the species in the ACT region are actually widespread threats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: In accordance with the Nature Conservation Act 1980, G. bispinosus was declared a vulnerable species in 1996. In the assessment of this species, the ACT Flora and Fauna Committee found the species to satisfy the following criteria:

- The species is observed, estimated, inferred or suspected to be at risk of premature extinction in the ACT region
in the medium-term future, as demonstrated by a current serious decline in population or distribution from evidence based on direct observation, including comparison of historical and current records.
- Imminent risk of serious decline in population or distribution from evidence based on serious threat from predators, parasites or competitors.
- Seriously fragmented distribution for a species currently occurring over a moderately small range or having a moderately small area of occupancy within its range.

An Action Plan was prepared in response to this declaration. The legal authority of this action plan is confined to the Australian Capital Territory. This species is not listed under any similar Acts in Victoria or New South Wales (ACT Government 1999).

The conservation objective of this Action Plan is to maintain in the long-term, viable, wild populations of G. bispinosus, which is to be achieved through the following strategies:

- Participating in research, monitoring and experimental management aimed at identifying the cause of the continuing population decline, and preventing it.
- Protecting sites and habitats that are critical to the survival of the species. This includes the upper Cotter River in the ACT, which is nationally recognised as an important site for G. bispinosus (Lintermans and Ingwersen 1996).
- Managing activities in the upper and middle Cotter River catchment to minimise or eliminate threats to fish populations.
- Increasing community awareness of the need to protect native fish and their habitats.

Citation: Jenkins, A., Kullander, F.F. & Tan, H.H. 2009. Gadopsis bispinosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 July 2014.
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