Current State and Reassessment of the Threatened Species Status of Invertebrates Endemic to Great Artesian Basin Springs

Rossini, R. A. (2020)


Springs are unusual freshwater ecosystems of high cultural and conservation significance, yet they are often overlooked in discussions of global freshwater biodiversity, ecology and conservation. Springs that emerge from the Great Artesian Basin (GAB) in Australia support a high diversity of endemic aquatic species. The majority of these species are at high risk of extinction due to their small geographic ranges, severe habitat loss and ongoing threats. However, the ecological requirements of most spring biota are poorly understood and the majority are unprotected, particularly invertebrates, for which basic taxonomic and ecological information is lacking for numerous species. This assessment of threat status determined that 98% of molluscs and 80% of crustaceans endemic to GAB springs meet the criteria for designation of ‘critically endangered’ under the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (the EPBC Act). However, none of these species is currently listed. The analyses in this paper provide support for individual EPBC listing of all species of gastropods and crustaceans.