Australian Endangered Species: Largetooth Sawfish
By Peter Kyne, Charles Darwin University
Sharks and rays are some of the world’s most threatened animals, with a quarter of all species at risk of extinction. Among the sharks and rays, sawfish are some of the most threatened, with all five species listed as Critically Endangered or Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The Largetooth Sawfish (Pristis pristis), previously known locally as the Freshwater Sawfish, is one of the planet’s largest fish, growing to over 6.5m in length.
The Largetooth Sawfish is a “euryhaline” species: capable of moving freely across a range of salinities from pure freshwater to the oceans. Its life cycle is complex and fascinating, encompassing a wide variety of habitats – floodplains, billabongs, creeks, rivers, estuaries and marine waters.
Young Largetooth Sawfish are born in estuaries before migrating upstream to spend their first 4-5 years of life in river systems. Locally they have been recorded up to 400 kilometres from the coast in the Fitzroy River. Upon nearing maturity they move back to coastal and marine waters.
Read the full article here