Fish fauna of the Fitzroy River in the Kimberley region of Western Australia - including the Bunuba, Gooniyandi, Ngarinyin, Nyikina and Walmajarri Aboriginal names

WA Museum Records and Supplements | Updated 7 months ago

ABSTRACT – This project surveyed the fish fauna of the Fitzroy River, one of Australia's largest river systems that remains unregulated, located in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. A total of 37 fish species were recorded in the 70 sites sampled. Twenty-three of these species are freshwater fishes (i.e. they complete their life-cycle in freshwater), the remainder being of estuarine or marine origin that may spend part of their life-cycle in freshwater. The number of freshwater species in the Fitzroy River is high by Australian standards. Three of the freshwater fish species recorded are currently undescribed, and two have no formal common or scientific names, but do have Aboriginal names. Where possible, the English (common), scientific and Aboriginal names for the different speCIes of the river are given. This includes the Aboriginal names of the fish for the following five languages (Bunuba, Gooniyandi, Ngarinyin, Nyikina and Walmajarri) of the Fitzroy River Valley. The fish fauna of the river was shown to be significantly different between each of the lower, middle and upper reaches of the main channel. Furthermore, the smaller tributaries and the upper gorge country sites were significantly different to those in the main channel, while the major billabongs of the river had fish assemblages significantly different to all sites with the exception of the middle reaches of the river. The previously known ranges of many species were extended. The implications of damming the Fitzroy River are discussed.

Author(s) David L. Morgan, Mark G. Allen, Patsy Bedford and Mark Horstman
Records 22 : Part 2
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