Biodiversity

Species Profile and Threats Database


For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
 
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Endangered as Galaxias fuscus
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans National Recovery Plan for the Barred Galaxias Galaxias fuscus (Raadik, T.A., Fairbrother, P.S. and Smith, S.J., 2010) [Recovery Plan] as Galaxias fuscus.
 
Policy Statements and Guidelines Survey guidelines for Australia's threatened fish. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.4 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2011i) [Admin Guideline].
 
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument] as Galaxias fuscus.
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
VIC:Flora and Fauna Guarantee Action Statement 65 - Barred Galaxias Galaxias olidus var. fuscus (Koehn, J. & T. Raadik, 2003) [State Action Plan].
State Listing Status
VIC: Listed as Threatened (Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (Victoria): February 2014 list) as Galaxias olidus fuscus
Non-statutory Listing Status
IUCN: Listed as Critically Endangered (Global Status: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: 2013.1 list)
VIC: Listed as Critically Endangered (Advisory List of Threatened Vertebrate Fauna in Victoria: 2013 list)
Scientific name Galaxias fuscus [26168]
Family Galaxiidae:Salmoniformes:Actinopterygii:Chordata:Animalia
Species author Mack, 1936
Infraspecies author  
Reference  
Other names Galaxias olidus fuscus [84412]
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images
http://www.nativefish.asn.au/g-fuscus.html

The Barred Galaxias is a rich reddish brown fish growing up to 15 cm, but commonly reaches 7-9 cm long. It has dark oval blotches on its side with at least one to four usually very distinct, clear to reddish brown fins (Allen 1989).

This species has a restricted distribution in eastern Vic. and is only known from one population in 13 streams in four general areas of the upper Goulburn R. catchment: near Mt Buller/Mt Stirling; Woods Pt; Marysville; and between Narbethong and Toolangi (Raadik 2000). At least five populations are presumed to have become extinct since its description in 1936 (Raadik 1995, 2000). Most of the remaining populations are effectively geographically isolated from each other by the presence of trout (Koehn & Raadik 1998), and it is unlikely that any gene flow exists between these populations (Raadik 1995).

This species inhabits small, shallow, gravel-bottomed streams (Cadwallader & Backhouse 1983) and pools (Wager & Jackson 1993), with clear flowing waters in mountainous terrain above the winter snowline (Allen 1989a). It is found in waters above 500 m in altitude (Raadik et al. 1996) where water temperatures range from 2°C (Raadik 1995) to 11°C (Armstrong 1993). Specimens in captivity will tolerate temperatures as high as 15°C (Armstrong 1993). Water temperature during the spawning period varied between 4.5°C-7°C (Shirley & Raadik 1997). Chemical features of these streams are typical of high mountain upland streams, having high dissolved oxygen levels and low conductivities (Raadik 1995).

In relatively pristine habitats, the stream substrate usually consists of granite boulders, cobbles, pebbles, gravel and sand. The stream gradients can be steep, and the overhanging riparian vegetation of native species provides large amounts of shading and deposits timber debris into the streams. Single logs, log jams, and large branch piles are common instream, as are piles of leaves and smaller twigs. In disturbed habitats, quantities of silt are present, and the riparian vegetation is either completely or partially lost, significantly reducing shading. The stream banks in disturbed habitats are densely covered with exotic vegetation. All sites lack aquatic vegetation, with most of the instream cover being provided by timber debris, rocks, boulders and some low-lying overhanging vegetation.(Raadik 1995).

The usual sequence of instream habitat consists of pools interconnected by rapids, small and large cascades, and some small waterfalls. In larger streams the steep gradient sections containing cascades, pools and waterfalls are interspersed with relatively long, low gradient sections containing pools and runs (Raadik 1995). This species shows a preference for slow flowing (0-0.2 m/sec), deep areas of stream, usually adjacent to areas of high flow (0.55-2.01 m/sec) in the main channel (Shirley 1991; Raadik 1995).

This species is non-migratory, completing its whole life cycle in freshwater (Raadik 1995). Consequently, this species has little ability to recolonise areas after localised extinctions (Koehn & Raadik 1998). Trout free zones have been established but to date there has been limited movement of barred galaxias into these zones. This is possibly due to the extremely small source population sizes, the low reproductive or recruitment rates, and potential small natural movement patterns (Raadik 2000).

This species feeds in the upstream end of pools, where the incoming water from the riffle or cascade zone may bring drifting prey items. It feeds on both drifting and benthic invertebrates. Nocturnal feeding has been noted (Shirley 1991; Raadik 1995). No work has been conducted on diet though terrestrial insects may be an important component (Raadik et al. 1996).

Very limited work has been conducted on aspects of the ecology and life history of this species (Raadik 1995). Only recently has the specific species status been recognised and because of prior taxonomic uncertainty, most population studies have focused on the more abundant Mountain Galaxias Galaxias olidus. Shirley (1991) estimated that there were five age classes, with the smallest fish sampled (36 mm total length, TL) being less than one year old (0+) and the oldest being 4+ years old (Raadik 1995). This species is probably slow growing when young and longevity is estimated to be 4-6 years (Raadik 1995).

Fecundity ranges up to 1000 eggs (mature ova) for a 140 mm TL fish (Raadik 1995), but the average egg number of all populations sampled was around 500 (Shirley & Raadik 1997). By mid-May, 90% of the population is in a ripe stage, but the fish appear to wait through most of the winter before spawning (Shirley & Raadik 1997).

The breeding period extends from late winter to early spring (Aug.-Oct.) in the Taggerty R. and is triggered by increasing day lengths (Shirley 1991; Raadik 1995). Spawning sites have not been located, though this species is probably an opportunistic egg scatterer, utilising demersal cobbles and instream timber debris as well as gravel beds (Raadik et al. 1996). Spawning is thought to occur only once during the breeding period. Eggs are adhesive and large with the maximum size of mature unshed ova during June being 2.2 mm in diameter. Eggs are suspected to be demersal (Raadik 1995).

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Fertiliser application The Action Plan For Australian Freshwater Fishes (Wager, R. & P. Jackson, 1993) [Cwlth Action Plan].
Biological Resource Use:Logging and Wood Harvesting:Habitat disturbance due to foresty activities The Action Plan For Australian Freshwater Fishes (Wager, R. & P. Jackson, 1993) [Cwlth Action Plan].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Droughts:Drought National Recovery Plan for the Barred Galaxias Galaxias fuscus (Raadik, T.A., Fairbrother, P.S. and Smith, S.J., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Droughts:Natural and artifically induced reductions to surface water availability National Recovery Plan for the Barred Galaxias Galaxias fuscus (Raadik, T.A., Fairbrother, P.S. and Smith, S.J., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Ecosystem Degradation:Decline in habitat quality National Recovery Plan for the Barred Galaxias Galaxias fuscus (Raadik, T.A., Fairbrother, P.S. and Smith, S.J., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Loss and/or fragmentation of habitat and/or subpopulations Galaxias fuscus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006li) [Internet].
National Recovery Plan for the Barred Galaxias Galaxias fuscus (Raadik, T.A., Fairbrother, P.S. and Smith, S.J., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Galaxias fuscus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006li) [Internet].
National Recovery Plan for the Barred Galaxias Galaxias fuscus (Raadik, T.A., Fairbrother, P.S. and Smith, S.J., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Small isolated populations National Recovery Plan for the Barred Galaxias Galaxias fuscus (Raadik, T.A., Fairbrother, P.S. and Smith, S.J., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Energy Production and Mining:Mining and Quarrying:Habitat destruction, disturbance and/or modification due to mining activities The Action Plan For Australian Freshwater Fishes (Wager, R. & P. Jackson, 1993) [Cwlth Action Plan].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:inappropriate conservation measures National Recovery Plan for the Barred Galaxias Galaxias fuscus (Raadik, T.A., Fairbrother, P.S. and Smith, S.J., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Oncorhynchus mykiss (Rainbow Trout) A review of the conservation status of native freshwater fish in Victoria. Victorian Naturalist. 107(1):13-25. (Koehn, J.D. & A.K. Morison, 1990) [Journal].
National Recovery Plan for the Barred Galaxias Galaxias fuscus (Raadik, T.A., Fairbrother, P.S. and Smith, S.J., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Perca fluviatilis (Redfin, Redfin Perch) Action Statement No. 65 Barred Galaxias Galaxias olidus var. fuscus (Koehn, J.D. & T.A. Raadik, 1998) [State Action Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Salmo trutta (Brown Trout) A review of the conservation status of native freshwater fish in Victoria. Victorian Naturalist. 107(1):13-25. (Koehn, J.D. & A.K. Morison, 1990) [Journal].
National Recovery Plan for the Barred Galaxias Galaxias fuscus (Raadik, T.A., Fairbrother, P.S. and Smith, S.J., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition, predation and/or habitat degradation by fish Galaxias fuscus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006li) [Internet].
A research recovery plan for the Barred Galaxias in south-eastern Australia. Flora and Fauna Technical Report. 141:24. (Raadik, T.A., 1995) [Report].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Presence of pathogens and resulting disease A research recovery plan for the Barred Galaxias in south-eastern Australia. Flora and Fauna Technical Report. 141:24. (Raadik, T.A., 1995) [Report].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Alteration of hydrological regimes and water quality National Recovery Plan for the Barred Galaxias Galaxias fuscus (Raadik, T.A., Fairbrother, P.S. and Smith, S.J., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) National Recovery Plan for the Barred Galaxias Galaxias fuscus (Raadik, T.A., Fairbrother, P.S. and Smith, S.J., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate fire regimes including natural wildfires National Recovery Plan for the Barred Galaxias Galaxias fuscus (Raadik, T.A., Fairbrother, P.S. and Smith, S.J., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low fecundity, reproductive rate and/or poor recruitment Galaxias fuscus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006li) [Internet].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low genetic diversity and genetic inbreeding National Recovery Plan for the Barred Galaxias Galaxias fuscus (Raadik, T.A., Fairbrother, P.S. and Smith, S.J., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Galaxias fuscus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006li) [Internet].
National Recovery Plan for the Barred Galaxias Galaxias fuscus (Raadik, T.A., Fairbrother, P.S. and Smith, S.J., 2010) [Recovery Plan].

Allen, G.R. (1989a). Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Brookvale, NSW: T.F.H. Publications.

Armstrong, N. (1993). Re-discovering Galaxias fuscus. Fishes of Sahul. Journal of the Australian New Guinea Fishes Association. 7(4):328-329.

Australian Fish Collection Records (undated). Collation of records from Australian Fish Collections.

Cadwallader, P.L. & G.N. Backhouse (1983). A Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Victoria. Page(s) 249. Melbourne: Victorian Government Printing Office.

Frankenberg, R.S. (1969). Studies on the evolution of galaxiid fishes with particular reference to the Australian fauna. Ph.D. Thesis. University of Melbourne.

Koehn, J.D. & A.K. Morison (1990). A review of the conservation status of native freshwater fish in Victoria. Victorian Naturalist. 107(1):13-25.

Koehn, J.D. & T.A. Raadik (1998). Action Statement No. 65 Barred Galaxias Galaxias olidus var. fuscus. [Online]. Melbourne: Dept. Natural Resources & Environment. Available from: http://www.nre.vic.gov.au/web/root/domino/cm_da/nrenpa.nsf/frameset/NRE+Plants+and+Animals?OpenDocument.

McDowall, R.M. & R.S. Frankenberg (1981). The Galaxiid Fishes of Australia. Records of the Australian Museum. 33(10):443-605.

Raadik, T.A. (1995). A research recovery plan for the Barred Galaxias in south-eastern Australia. Flora and Fauna Technical Report. 141:24. Dept Cons. & Nat. Res., Melbourne.

Raadik, T.A. (2000). Barred Galaxias Recovery Project Final Report. Arthur Rylah Institute, Heidelberg.

Raadik, T.A. (2001). When is a Mountain Galaxias not a Mountain Galaxias?. Fishes of Sahul. 15(4):785-789.

Raadik, T.A., S.R. Saddlier & J.D. Koehn (1996). Threatened fishes of the world: Galaxias fuscus Mack, 1936 (Galaxiidae). Environmental Biology of Fishes. 47:108.

Rich, C. (1986). A morphological and electrophoretic examination of geographical variation in the ornate mountain galaxiid Galaxias olidus Gunther. Hons. Thesis. Uni. Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria.

Shirley, M.J. (1991). The ecology and distribution of Galaxias fuscus Mack, in the Goulburn River system, Victoria. Hons. Thesis. Dept Zool., Uni. Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria.

Shirley, M.J. & T.A. Raadik (1997). Apects of the ecology and breeding biology of Galaxias fuscus Mack, in the Goulburn River system, Victoria. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria. 109(2):157-166.

Wager, R. & P. Jackson (1993). The Action Plan For Australian Freshwater Fishes. Canberra, ACT: Australian Nature Conservation Agency.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Galaxias fuscus in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Sat, 12 Jul 2014 05:36:54 +1000.