On-ground action funded by the South West Catchments Council (SWCC) has enabled us, with help from the Cape-to-Cape Catchments Group and volunteers, to fish out more than 1,400 invasive marron from Margaret River.
Since their introduction into the river in the early 1980s, smooth marron have decimated the endemic hairy marron population for reasons largely unknown. Hairy marron are now only found in a number of small pools in the Margaret River where marron fishing is strictly banned.
Baited black box traps were used to remove the smooth marron and give the hairy marron a chance of recovering. Participants in the community-driven fish-out used a trial identification guide that we are developing to determine whether the marron were hairy, smooth or a cross between the two.
After 20 nights of sampling, catches indicated that almost all non-hairy marron of breeding size had been removed from the pools. With broader implementation, this method will hopefully give hairy marron a better chance of breeding success, with the aim of ultimately saving the species from extinction.
SWCC, a member of the Hairy Marron Recovery Team, recently provided funding for the completion of a new recovery plan which identifies recent advances in our understanding of the biology, ecology and ultimately the conservation of hairy marron.
To see a hairy marron for yourself, visit Perth Zoo to view a display of WA’s most iconic freshwater animal.