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Invasive non-native freshwater fauna species

Key finding

Invasive non-native fauna species, particularly pest fish, are relatively widespread in some sections of Queensland’s freshwater ecosystems and have the potential to degrade and modify aquatic environments as well as displace native species.

Invasive non-native fauna species (in particular pest fish), are relatively widespread within sections of Queensland’s freshwater ecosystems and can degrade and modify aquatic environments as well as displace native species.

The most common established invasive pest fish in Queensland are:

  • carp
  • tilapia

Tilapia is considered the most significant pest—established in 20 of Queensland’s 76 catchments, predominately along the east coast. Internationally significant catchments such as the Murray-Darling, Lake Eyre and Gulf of Carpentaria remain tilapia-free.

New pest fish incursions are difficult to identify and species are commonly established by the time they are detected. Currently there is no effective means of pest fish eradication once established in an open waterway.

In recent years there have also been a number of non-native freshwater turtle detections including the red-eared slider turtle, Chinese striped-neck turtle and Asian box turtle. Non-native turtle species can impact on freshwater wetland ecosystems by outcompeting native turtles for food and shelter, carrying disease and preying on a range of aquatic species.

More information:

Indicator: Invasive non-native fauna species identified in freshwater wetlands

A selection of distributions of invasive non-native wetland fauna species from the Australian Pest Species Distribution Survey database. Data is current, ranging from 2012–2014.

Last updated 10 May 2019