The group sampling estuarine fish in the South Alligator River is using a variety of netting and trapping techniques to document patterns in fish size and abundance, and how this
varies between the wet and dry season in response to changes in flow and habitat.
“It’s fascinating how different the fish communities are on this trip compared to a wet season sampling trip earlier in the year. The group has collected several species which weren’t around during the wet, and the size and abundance of various species has also changed.
Another group is surveying Kakadu’s rivers to see how important it is as a habitat for the threatened freshwater sawfish and other estuarine species including the speartooth shark
and the northern river shark.
“This kind of work is not possible without effective collaboration,” Professor Bunn said.
“Parks Australia and traditional owners are working closely with the team, which comprises researchers from Charles Darwin University, Griffith University, the University of Western Australia, NT Fisheries, the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory and CSIRO.”
The knowledge gained from this project will be used to assess potential effects on northern Australia’s aquatic biodiversity caused by climate change, sea level rise and other threats.
It will also help inform management strategies to minimise the impact of these threats.