Lake Eyre Basin Rivers 40 also cane toads), spring destruction and degradation due to trampling and disruption by domestic and feral stock, and the threat of aquifer drawdown from extractive industries such as coal mining and coal seam gas. Governments and communities have rarely attempted to contain or control the impacts of invasive aquatic species in the Queensland section of the Lake Eyre Basin. Exceptions include the concentrated rehabilitation of artesian springs and their fish at Edgbaston by controlling gambusia, and preventing the liberation of other aquatic invaders a recent goal of government agencies and associated research institutions. The ecological effects of population booms of introduced species (e.g. red claw crayfish and sleepy cod) could be locally catastrophic during dry periods when all species both native and introduced concentrate in shrinking waterholes. Unfortunately, our ability to successfully control or mitigate such impacts in the extensive boom and bust systems of the Lake Eyre Basin is limited. Avoidance of further invasions into catchments where non-native species do not occur should be the priority. This means preventing sleepy cod, Murray cod, goldfish and gambusia reaching the Diamantina and Georgina, and dedicated programs and policies (e.g. community education programs) to reduce the chances of other alien or translocated species entering Lake Eyre Basin watersheds. Carp and various Tilapia species, established in the rivers of the Murray–Darling and north-eastern Australia, are currently the biggest potential threats facing the riverine communities of far western Queensland, and every effort should be made to prevent their expansion into the Lake Eyre Basin rivers. The Lake Eyre Basin rivers occupy an iconic place in Australia’s cultural identity and history (Durack 1959 Bowen 1987 Murgatroyd 2002 see Chapters 1, 7 and 8), and are considered to comprise the healthiest and most intact arid-zone aquatic ecosystems worldwide (see Chapters 2, 4 and 7). There are legislative challenges associated with managing such a large area, especially as it is administered by multiple jurisdictions (Queensland, South Australia, Northern Territory and New South Wales), and there are considerable logistical and practical difficulties. Management and research in the Lake Eyre Basin must be approached collaboratively in order to assess threats and adequately monitor river health in these unique systems, because evidence-based policy and sound management of the Lake Eyre Basin rivers and springs are crucial for maintaining dependent biodiversity. References Allen GR, Midgley SH, Allen M (2002) Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Western Australian Museum, Perth. Arthington AH, Balcombe SR, Wilson GA, Thoms MC, Marshall J (2005) Spatial and temporal variation in fish-assemblage structure in isolated waterholes during the 2001 dry season of an arid-zone floodplain river, Cooper Creek, Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research 56, 25–35. doi:10.1071/MF04111 Bailey V, Long P (2001) ‘Wetland, fish and habitat survey in the Lake Eyre Basin, Queensland’. Department of Natural Resources and Mines, Brisbane. Balcombe SR, Arthington AH (2009) Temporal changes in fish abundance in response to hydrological variability in a dryland floodplain river. Marine and Freshwater Research 60, 146–159. doi:10.1071/MF08118 Balcombe SR, Bunn SE, Arthingon AH, Fawcett JH, Mckenzie-Smith FJ, Wright A (2007) Fish larvae, growth and biomass relationships in an Australian arid zone river: links between floodplains and waterholes. Freshwater Biology 52, 2385–2398. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2427.2007.01855.x
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