Fight to Save Shrimp Habitat

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
5 October 2009, at 1:00am

AUSTRALIA - Scientists in Western Australia are fighting to save a species of shrimp from the destruction of its habitat by salinisation of the wheatbelt.

WA’s Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) have discovered high concentrations of the brine shrimp genus Paratemia in the region's natural saline lakes have been on a decline.

The decline has been put down to changes is the patterns of salt distribution, according to a report from the Science Network Western Australia.

Now the scientists are looking at a holistic approach to the wetlands to help conserve the shrimp that lays eggs resistant to dryness during the dry season and which hatch when the rains come.

However, the salinisation of the wheatbelt has forced the water table to rise and the loss of the habitat as the wetlands no longer dry out.

The DEC’s aquatic research team is to conduct specific surveys on the shrimp with a view to gaining greater understanding of the distribution of the species and establishing a threatened species list for those found to be rare or in rapid decline.