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Continental threat - numbers of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) in Australia.pdf (5.88 MB)

Continental threat: How many common carp (Cyprinus carpio) are there in Australia?

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posted on 22.03.2021, 23:17 by IG Stuart, BG Fanson, JP Lyon, J Stocks, S Brooks, A Norris, L Thwaites, M Beitzel, M Hutchison, Q Ye, JD Koehn, Andrew Bennett
© 2020 The Author(s) Common carp (Cyprinus carpio) are one of the world's most destructive vertebrate pests. In Australia, they dominate many aquatic ecosystems causing a severe threat to aquatic plants, invertebrates, water quality, native fish and social amenity. The Australian Government is considering release of cyprinid herpesvirus-3 (CyHV-3) as a control measure and consequently a robust, continental-scale estimate of the carp population and biomass is essential to inform planning and risk management. Here, we pioneer a novel model-based approach to provide the first estimate of carp density (no/ha) and biomass density (kg/ha) at river reach/waterbody, basin and continental scales. We built a spatial layer of rivers and waterbodies, classified aquatic habitats and calculated the area of each throughout the range of carp in Australia. We then developed a database of fishery-independent electrofishing catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) for habitat types, containing catch information for 574,145 carp caught at 4831 sites. Eastern Australia accounted for 96% of carp biomass and 92% of the total available wetted habitat area (16,686 km2) was occupied. To correct these data for variable detection efficiencies, we used existing electrofishing data and undertook additional field experiments to establish relationships between relative and absolute abundances. We then scaled-up site-based estimates to habitat types to generate continental estimates. The number of carp was estimated at 199.2 M (95%Crl: 106 M to 357.6 M) for an ‘average’ hydrological scenario and 357.5 M (95%Crl: 178.9 M to 685.1 M) for a ‘wet’ hydrological scenario. In eastern Australia, these numbers correspond with biomasses of 205,774 t (95%Crl: 117,532–356,482 t) (average scenario) and 368,357 t (95%Crl: 184,234–705,630 t) (wet scenario). At a continental scale the total biomass was estimated at 215,456 t for an ‘average’ hydrological scenario. Perennial lowland rivers had the highest CPUE and greatest biomass density (up to 826 kg/ha) and the modelled biomass exceeded a density-impact threshold of 80–100 kg/ha in 54% of wetlands and 97% of stream area in large lowland rivers. The continental-scale biomass estimates provide a baseline for focusing national conservation strategies to reduce carp populations below thresholds needed to restore aquatic ecosystems at a range of spatial scales.

History

Publication Date

01/02/2021

Journal

Biological Conservation

Volume

254

Article Number

108942

Pagination

pp10 (p. 108942-108942)

Publisher

Elsevier

ISSN

0006-3207

Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.

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