A project undertaken at Murdoch University, Perth and supervised by Alan Lymbery
Western Australia has a very high percentage of endemic freshwater fish species, threatened by anthropogenic impacts such as the salinisation of rivers and the introduction of exotic plants and animals. Understanding the parasite fauna of freshwater fish can potentially provide valuable information about these threatening processes. The general aim of this project is to demonstrate how a study of the parasites of freshwater fish in the south west of Western Australia can assist in the protection and restoration of native fish populations.
The specific objectives of the study are to:
- Identify parasites in native and exotic freshwater fish species in the south west of Western Australia.
- Determine prevalence, intensity of infection and pathology of infection for each parasite species in each host species.
- Determine whether parasite load of native freshwater fish is greater in the presence of exotic fish species.
- Estimate the threat posed to the conservation of native freshwater fish by natural and introduced parasites.
- Measure the effect of salinity on prevalence and intensity of infection for each parasite species in each host species.
- Establish the value of parasite data as an indicator of salinisation.