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Endangered Yalmy Galaxias at Brink of Extinction, Urgent Rescue Mission Needed



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The Yalmy galaxias, a petite freshwater fish species in danger of extinction, is facing a critical situation under Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek’s oversight. Several conservation groups have reached out to the environment ministers of Victoria, New South Wales, and the federal government, urging prompt intervention to save multiple species of galaxiids. Among them, the Yalmy galaxias is on the verge of extinction, with a mere 20 of these small fish found in a recent survey.

The past severe bushfires during the Black Summer and the presence of introduced pests have devastated the habitat of the Yalmy galaxias, putting the species in an extremely perilous position. With doubts lingering on the possible extinction of the Yalmy galaxias, concerns about the effectiveness of current conservation laws have been raised by James Trezise, director of the Biodiversity Council.

Plibersek’s commitment in October 2022 to prevent further native species extinctions is now under scrutiny, as the Yalmy galaxias faces a dire predicament. Despite the government’s plans to invest in various projects aimed at protecting galaxiids for future generations, the urgency of a specific rescue mission for the Yalmy galaxias has been emphasized by environmental advocates.

In combating the challenges threatening the Yalmy galaxias, government efforts have fallen short, leading to a call for immediate action. Jack Gough, director of advocacy at the Invasive Species Council, points out the need for a targeted rescue initiative for the Yalmy galaxias and the establishment of more trout-free havens across habitats of other critically endangered galaxias.

Environmental groups are pushing government authorities to take swift measures to address the critical condition of not only the Yalmy galaxias but also other endangered galaxiids. Dr. Carol Booth, from the Invasive Species Council, highlights the grave threat posed by sediment run-off and invasive trout on the survival of these species.

The unique vulnerability of galaxiids to the presence of introduced trout species underscores the urgent need for protective measures and proactive conservation efforts. With the federal environment department acknowledging the imminent danger to these small fish due to trout predation, actions to safeguard their habitats and populations are imperative to prevent their extinctions.

Rachel Adams

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