They are small, mostly unknown native fish but they are being
championed by a group of Otago master's students.
Galaxiids are one of New Zealand's most threatened freshwater
fish and Otago is home to some of more threatened, such as
the lowland longjaw, found in North Otago and the Teviot
galaxiid, in the tributaries around Lake Onslow.
To help increase public awareness of the fish and encourage
people to take action to help save them, a website, www.intergalaxiid.com, has been
created by Otago University of Otago European ecology
exchange master's student Olga Khomenko, with help from her
science communication lecturer Dr Jenny Rock, Department of
Conservation ecologist Lan Pham and her fellow science
communication master's students.
Ms Khomenko used it as part of an experiment in creating a
web platform using only freeware that required no programming
The aim was to provide a central information resource for the
public with links to primary resources.
''So few people know they are right underfoot as they are not
easily visible. It's filling an information gap,'' Dr Rock
It also provided ideas people could do to help restore the
galaxiids' habitat, she said.
The website was part of a project set by Dr Rock for all her
master's students to raise awareness of the fish, although
they all took different approaches in doing it.
Ms Khomenko, who was from the Ukraine, had returned to Europe
and Dr Rock was now overseeing the website.
''We want to maintain it as a resource.''