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Author Topic: Work to implement the hairy marron recovery plan  (Read 1402 times)

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Work to implement the hairy marron recovery plan
« on: August 03, 2011, 09:59:40 PM »
Work to implement the hairy marron recovery plan 25 July 2011


The WA Department of Fisheries is continuing its battle, in Western Australia’s South West, to bring the Margaret River Hairy Marron (Cherax tenuimanus) back from the verge of extinction.

Next month, a departmental research team will attempt to reduce competition for habitat between the critically endangered species and the Smooth Marron species (Cherax cainii), which has taken a dominant position since it was introduced to Margaret River 20 years ago.

“We are aiming at increasing the survival of juvenile hairy marron, which in-turn will increase the numbers of adults in the wild,” said Freshwater Research Scientist Dr Rodney Duffy. “It is a vital phase in the implementation of a recovery plan for the species.

“Trapping and removing smooth marron, to reduce habitat competition and enhance the survival of juvenile hairy marron during the breeding season, is part of the strategy.

“The smooth species out-competes the hairy species, through earlier spawning that enhances their competitive advantage. The smooth marron species also dominates via hybridisation and, in addition, they have been found to have greater levels of aggression.

“In the future, we also hope to involve a greater number of property owners in the recovery project. While some farm dams in this region may have remnant hairy marron populations we will be encouraging local owners to help by stocking any new dams with hairy marron.”

Dr Duffy said the Margaret River Hairy Marron was now confined to the upper reaches and there was not a single location where they had exclusivity.

“Although fishing for marron is banned in the upper reaches of the Margaret River, with signage informing people about the ban and the critically endangered status of the hairy marron, some poaching still occurs,” he said.

Dr Duffy said the Department of Fisheries was working closely on the ground with the Cape to Cape Catchments group to save the Margaret River Hairy Marron species.

“We will only be able to win the battle against its extinction, if the community supports us in the bid to ensure this unique freshwater crayfish has a future,” he said.

The Department of Fisheries has already established a successful breeding program for the hairy marron; the next step is to help the species win back its place in the local ecosystem to enhance the aquatic biodiversity in the area.

Western Australia’s marron fishing rules and a fact sheet about marron, including the Margaret River Hairy Marron, are available on the department’s website at www.fish.wa.gov.au.

http://www.fish.wa.gov.au/docs/pub/FactSheets/Fisheries%20Fact%20Sheet%20-%20Marron.pdf






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