A helping hand for one of our most endangered fish

7 April 2022

The Morrison Government has announced more than $650,000 in funding in Lyons to help protect Tasmania’s unique species and landscapes, including for the elusive and endangered Red Handfish species.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley joined the Southern Regional Natural Resource Management Association in Lewisham today announcing a program for the Red Handfish that will restore and rebuild local habitat, reduce sea urchin numbers to protect habitat areas, monitor populations and educate local communities in South East Tasmania.

“There are only two small known populations of Red Handfish in south-eastern Tasmania and this work will be critical in protecting their future,” Minister Ley said.

“The fish use their hand-like fins to ‘walk’ across the sea-floor but they are incredibly elusive and little is known about wild populations.

“We are working on the ground with community-based organisations to deliver practical outcomes for threatened species.

“Tasmanians care deeply about the environment and our Tasmanian species.

“It is wonderful to see the region benefiting from more than $650,000 in spending to protect unique landscapes and species. 

“This is all about practical on-ground action that will support the efforts of other stakeholders, scientists and volunteers determined to protect these unique species.”

More information: awe.gov.au/environment/biodiversity/threatened/recovery-plans/recovery-plan-for-three-handfish-species 

Project description - activities 


Grant amount

Restoring habitat for critically endangered Red handfish

This project will undertake activities for the Red Handfish such as monitoring, urchin removal to prevent their overgrazing of kelp habitat, measures to restore habitat facilitating rebuilding of available habitat, and engagement and awareness programs with the local community in south-eastern Tasmania. These measures, combined with existing population-bolstering strategies being undertaken at Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies will improve the trajectory of this species

Southern Regional Natural Resource Management Association


Improving the long-term trajectory of the endangered Swan galaxias

Implementing key recovery actions for the Swan Galaxias in eastern Tasmania, including the development of eDNA monitoring techniques to identify previously unknown populations along with the identification of sites for translocation and habitat restoration.

Southern Regional Natural Resource Management Association


Enhancing habitat for New Holland Mouse at Friendly Beaches Reserve

Focus on the use of active fire management such as ‘fire training’, patch burning, and pre-burn and post-burn fauna and vegetation monitoring that will maintain and create habitat for the New Holland Mouse at the Friendly Beaches Reserve (managed by Bush Heritage Australia) and the Freycinet Peninsula on Tasmania’s East Coast.

Bush Heritage Australia


Prasophyllum taphanyx Recovery Project

This project will implement priority actions for the Tasmanian Graveside Leek-orchid at its only known location in a cemetery in the Tasmanian Midlands. These actions include improved management of the site, seed and fungal collections to be stored at the Tasmanian Seed Conservation Centre to allow for propagation, reduction of the impact of over visitation, and increased knowledge about the species.

Landscape Recovery Foundation Ltd.