Aquatic Biodiversity


SWCC’s overall objective is:

To contribute substantially to the understanding, conservation and protection of targeted aquatic biodiversity assets in the South West NRM region so as to ensure that the abundance, diversity and structure of all aquatic ecosystems and their component fauna and flora species occurring naturally in the South West NRM region are maintained or improved.

The following Overall Outcome Indicators were developed to test whether or not SWCC’s overall objective has been achieved:

  • By 2020, no known aquatic species becomes extinct if conservation action is being undertaken.
  • Management and/or control plans have been drawn up and are being implemented for 75% of aquatic invasive pest species and diseases identified as being significant at national and/or State levels in the period up to 2020.
  • Potential impacts of climate variability, exploitation of groundwater resources and other key threats on aquatic ecosystems identified and defined by 2013 and this knowledge is incorporated into management programs by 2015.
  • By 2020, the effects of climate variability on aquatic species are understood and adaptation and/or mitigation strategies developed to deal with them.
  • By 2020, comprehensive knowledge systems are developed for 20% of identified priority aquatic habitats.
  • Community awareness about the issues impacting on aquatic biodiversity is continually evolving in the period up to 2020.

In order to achieve the objective, SWCC and its partners will work towards achieving the following management outcomes:

  • Appropriate management programs are being implemented for all aquatic species and aquatic ecological communities in the South West region that are either representative and/or endangered.
  • Biodiversity conservation work in the South West NRM region is underpinned by comprehensive knowledge systems (inventories of, and management plans for, aquatic species and aquatic ecological communities).
  • The South West community is aware of the key threats to, and supports action to mitigate their effects on, the region’s priority aquatic biodiversity assets.

A range of indicators have been developed to test whether or not these management outcomes have been achieved. These are presented in the Project Planning Matrices (PPMs) which can be found here.

Priority sites for management action

For the purposes of SWCC’s strategy, a range of priority aquatic biodiversity assets have been identified that are subject to manageable high and/or low threat(s), as confirmed by technical experts consulted during the review.

If you think there are sites that should be included as priorities below, or that there are reasons for any of the sites below not to be included, we would love to hear your feedback. You can comment on each of the project pages by clicking on the thumbnail pictures below or provide general feedback here.

The working group also identified the key threats to these sites, which were confirmed through the community consultation process in 2011 (Christensen & MacMahon 2012) and again in 2014 (Thinkscape 2014). The most appropriate management actions to deal with these threats were also delineated (Christensen & MacMahon 2012). These are described in a state and transition model for the aquatic biodiversity theme area, found here.


Image by  Tim Swallow.