Habitat use and spawning behaviour of Galaxis postvectis, short-jaw kōkōpū, in the Waipoua River catchment

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26 Jan 2024

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Taoho Patuawa | Te Roroa



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Shortjaw kōkopu (Galaxis postvectis) are a threatened freshwater fish species endemic to New Zealand. This species is one of five native species which are collectively referred to as 'whitebait' during the juvenile migratory period of their lifecycle as they move from saltwater to freshwater. Galaxais species are a taonga of Te Roroa and have been used as an occasional food source, as well as indicators of healthy waterways and ecosystems. However, large scale declining populations primarily driven by habitat modification, deforestation, and alien invasive species has impacted traditional harvest practices of kōkopu. The presence and success of adult populations of G. postvectis do remain as strong indicators of stream and ecosystem health in the Waipoua Forest.

Cryptic, nocturnal behaviors and their rarity means ecological and biological knowledge is limited. Identifying areas of high species density and important habitat for spawning and adult growth is crucial for informing conservation management. This project contributes to the current spawning and habitat data for G. postvectis through population monitoring and habitat analysis in the Waipoua Catchment in Northland.

Te Roroa encourages positive relationships and seeks to develop research partnerships and collaborations with a shared desire to enhance the health and well-being of our natural landscapes. The application of Local Contexts labels with partner agencies, institutions, and individuals is a recognition of positive intent from all parties.


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Te Roroa

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This Label is being used to affirm an inherent interest Te Roroa people have in the scientific collections and data (including Digital Sequence Information) about communities, peoples, and the biodiversity found within traditional lands, waters and territories. Te Roroa retains the right to be named and associated with it into the future. This association reflects a significant relationship and responsibility to biocultural materials from within the rohe of Te Roroa and associated scientific collections and data.

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