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Endangered Fish Released Into Refuge Dam


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Endangered fish released into refuge dam

December 1, 2008 - 11:30AM

About 50 Yarra pygmy perch fish have been released into a refuge dam in South Australia to help ensure the long-term survival of the threatened species.

Department of Environment and Heritage westland officer Russell Seaman said the release was part of a program to protect native fish in the Murray-Darling Basin during the ongoing drought.

Earlier this year a number of endangered fish, including the Yarra pygmy perch and the endangered southern purple spotted gudgeon, were rescued from the lower lakes and taken to Adelaide's Cleland Wildlife Park as part of a captive breeding program.

"This program is a fantastic way of ensuring the survival of some of our most endangered fish species who are at risk of extinction in the wild," Mr Seaman said.

"It is indicative of the program's success so far that we have been able to breed enough fish in preparation for release into surrogate dams.

"Ultimately we plan to re-introduce these fish to their natural habitat once critical drought conditions pass and river flow returns to the Murray River and lower lakes."

Mr Seaman said a number of privately-owned dams had been identified as potential temporary homes for endangered fish and further releases were planned over the next year.

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