20 new freshwater fish discovered in the Kimberleys


ACCORDING to the ABC’s 7:30 Report twenty new freshwater fish species have been discovered in the rivers of the Kimberleys region of Western Australia by a pair of Melbourne University researchers .

Marine biologists Dr Stephen Swearer and Dr Tim Dempster studied the Kimberleys rivers for nine months over the space of three years and were astounded at the diversity of undiscovered freshwater biodiversity.

“We were amazed when we got into these systems. Some of these fish you look at the photo in the field guide you look at this fish and you go there was no way this fish could be this sort of species,” Dr Swearer said.

There are roughly 200 different species of freshwater fish in Australia, which makes this find a 10 per cent boost to the biodiversity of the entire country.

The new species are from three distinct families; gudgeons, grunters and hardy heads, and they have been discovered in 14 different rivers including the Prince Regent, the Fitzroy and the Ord, all of which are well known to WA anglers.

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