ISBN 1 74152 398 2
About this document
The Murray Hardyhead Craterocephalus fluviatilis is a small, silvery, freshwater fish endemic to the lower Murray–Darling River system in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales. Once considered widespread and common throughout its range, the species has suffered an extensive decline in range and abundance, and is now one of the most threatened vertebrate species in Australia. It is extinct in New South Wales and survives in only a few isolated locations in Victoria and South Australia, where all populations are threatened by rising salinity and declining water levels. Most of the remaining populations are predicted to become extinct in the near future if current drought conditions continue, with perhaps only two or three populations surviving in the short-medium term. The Murray Hardyhead is listed as Vulnerable under the Australian Government Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. This national Recovery Plan for the Murray Hardyhead is the first recovery plan prepared for the species. The Plan details the species’ distribution, biology and ecology, threats and recovery objectives and actions necessary to ensure the long-term survival of the Murray Hardyhead.