Application of environmental DNA to survey Bathurst Harbour (Tasmania) for the Endangered Maugean Skate (Zearaja maugeana)

PROJECT 1.33

Final report, 30 August 2022

This report describes Marine and Coastal Hub research that used eDNA to survey the Endangered Maugean Skate in Bathurst Harbour on the south-western coast of Tasmania. Despite extensive sampling, only minute traces of Maugean Skate DNA were detected. This was most likely remnant traces of biological material such as egg cases that remained in the sediment, or a few live individuals at the most. It is now clear that the vast majority, if not all, of the remaining Maugean Skate live in Macquarie Harbour. This finding highlights the vulnerability of the Maugean Skate and the need for urgent conservation action and continued research focused on the Macquarie Harbour population to ensure the persistence of this unique species.

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