Improving conservation of kōwaro (Canterbury mudfish)

For a MSc thesis, we conducted an investigation of the effects of drought on the critically-endangered kōwaro (Canterbury mudfish). We repeatedly surveyed kōwaro populations under three different summertime rainfall conditions (well above average, approximately average, and well below average) to identify any drought-induced changes. This was followed by a comparison of contemporary kōwaro populations, along environmental gradients of drying intensity and canopy cover, to identify any potential mechanisms responsible for the drought-induced changes.

This handout provides an overview of the important findings identified and highlights ways that kōwaro-inhabited waterway can be improved.