Department of Conservation rangers say more ''galaxiid love''
is needed to help halt the decline of New Zealand's
Coastal Otago freshwater rangers were in Oamaru on Thursday
to conduct a talk at the North Otago Museum, as part of
efforts to raise awareness about endangered freshwater
species in Otago. Ranger Lan Pham said 80% of New Zealand's
28 species of galaxiids were endangered in some way.
Ms Pham said although the five species that made up the
whitebait catch were well-known, there was very little public
awareness of the remaining species.
''The depressing part about it is that not only do we not
know a lot about our freshwater species, but we are losing
them at an alarming rate.
''There are some rare and endangered galaxiids right here in
She said the lowland longjaw, which was only found on the
Kauru and Kakanui Rivers, was a case in point.
''It's really the kakapo of the water. The population can be
down to just 250 individuals, at its lowest point.''
The main reasons for the decline of native freshwater life
were predation, loss of habitat, land use changes and
barriers to migration.
That was why Doc was ''spreading galaxiid love'' through
The talk ended with a demonstration of an electric fishing
surveying technique in the Oamaru Creek.
North Otago Museum curator Chloe Searle welcomed the
presentation, which was attended by about 20 people, as a
great chance to learn more about native aquatic life.
Ms Searle also said the talk had fitted in nicely with the
museum's current efforts to encourage more interest in the
''The talk connects with the museum's current Creek Creatures
exhibition, a family friendly display about the wildlife in
and around Oamaru Creek,'' Ms Searle said.