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Queensland Lake Eyre and Bulloo Freshwater Biogeographic Province

Queensland Lake Eyre and Bulloo Freshwater Biogeographic Province – Introduced fauna—aquatic

Wet season (Jan-Apr) Average temperature (23°) Temperature varies along a NW-SE gradient Evaporation exceeds rainfall Width of riparian zone (36m) Small trees Grasses Low relief ratio Cracking clays Percentage of water which is base flow (9%) Annual spate duration (2 months) Annual no-flow duration (6 months) Sand Clay Low macroinvertebrate richness High turbidity Large woody debris cover (8%) Submerged macrophyte growth forms dominant Concave bank shape category Convex bank shape category Dominant bank slope (10°-60°) Fauna Specific example – Life cycle of Hyrtl's catfish

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Redclaw crayfish Pest species Redclaw crayfish Cane toads Eastern gambusia Carp Goldfish

Aquatic pest species can establish in freshwater environments via deliberate stocking, recreational activities (live bait), stocked farm dams and aquarium escapees, or accidental transport.


Native species richness and abundance are reduced by competition for resources with pest species.



Redclaw crayfish are native to Northern Australia and have been translocated to multiple areas of Queensland. It is believed to outcompete native species of blueclaw crayfish and is therefore a potential threat. They have been recorded in the upper reaches of the Georgina and Cooper catchments.



The bottom-feeding habits of carp resuspend sediment, increase turbidity and alter instream habitat. Carp are destructive to aquatic macrophytes, prey on macroinvertebrates and can tolerate degraded environments. Carp exist in the adjacent Murray-Darling catchments and could disperse into the carp-free Lake Eyre and Bulloo catchments.

Eastern gambusia compete for resources with native fish and display aggressive behaviour to other species by fin nipping and egg predation. It can become invasive due to its high reproductive rate and has been recorded in the Cooper and Diamantina catchments.


Goldfish are native to Asia. They were introduced to Australia as an aquarium fish and are found in waterholes in the Cooper Creek catchment and in the adjacent Murray-Darling Basin. The Bulloo, Georgina and Diamantina catchments are free from this fish.


Cane toads were introduced to Australia in 1935 as a biological control agent for sugar cane pests. They are now a major pest. Current distribution is unclear, however they are thought to be present in the upper parts of the Lake Eyre catchments, and have been recorded in the adjacent Murray-Darling Basin (upper Warrego). They are generally found in temporary pools, backwaters and near populated centres.



Last updated: 22 May 2014

This page should be cited as:

Department of Environment, Science and Innovation, Queensland (2014) Queensland Lake Eyre and Bulloo Freshwater Biogeographic Province – Introduced fauna—aquatic, WetlandInfo website, accessed 18 March 2024. Available at:

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment, Science and Innovation