Desert Fishes Council, Reno, NV, November 1995.

A comparison of North American and Australian riverine desert habitats, fishes, and management.

P.J. Unmack

Desert rivers differ considerably between Australia and North America. For the purposes of this paper I am comparing the North American Colorado River System and the Australian Lake Eyre Drainage Division. These differences are most obvious in the way abiotic conditions affect and have shaped desert rivers. In turn, this has influenced the evolution of their respective desert fishes. Australia and North America have similar threats to desert fish, however the degree of threat is quite different. While there are still many gaps in our knowledge of the Colorado fauna, it is far superior to that of the Australian fauna. Finally, there are also significant political differences in the way fish populations are managed.