Australia has added another dangerous species to its list of deadly creatures that live in the country. Although this one doesn’t necessarily threaten any human lives directly, it threatens to throw off the balance of the entire marine ecosystem. An invasive species of aggressive fish known as the “Climbing Perch” is making its way into the Australian mainland, and experts warn its migration could have disastrous consequences.
Climbing Perch has a Knack for Killing and a niche for survival
Most fish cannot survive for than a few minutes on dry land without suffocation, but the Climbing Perch is not most fish. Due specially adapted organs that keep them moist, they can survive for up to six days on dry land, increasing the distance this aggressive fish is able to migrate inland in Australia. The hostile species has other mechanisms which make it a formidable foe to any food chain it introduces itself to.
According to research, the Perch has a pension for killing predators which may attempt to consume it, “The species has the potential to out-compete native freshwater and estuarine species, and has sharped well developed gill plates and spines that may choke and kill predatory species like Barramundi if swallowed. The fish’s ability to kill off other predatory species makes it a considerable threat to areas where it seeks to migrate. Additionally the Perch has the ability to survive in freshwater and saltwater environments. According to one study the invasion of the Perch could cause up to 48.5 million dollars in loss of fishing revenue if steps aren’t taken swiftly to ensure they cease hitchhiking further into the country.
Perch mobility is assisted by other species activities
Perch are not only a threat because they can survive by walking across the land for days at a time without being in water, they are known to hitchhike with humans which has the potential to carry them even further where the species should not occupy. Travelers have been known to carry the fish aboard boats as food and then release the fish inland when they arrive, and pelicans often carry the fish with the intention of digestion, but upon regurgitation the fish ends up dwelling somewhere further inland. While they may be interesting to watch hobble around on land, the migrations of the Walking Perch are not to be taken lightly. This tiny aggressive fish could perturb any entire ecosystem in mainland Australia.