A big welcome to our new aquatic ecologist – Rob Wager

on 13 Jan 2016 

During the latter stages of 2015 we were very fortunate to recruit Rob Wager to the position of Freshwater Ecologist. Rob's primary role will be leading the Red-Finned Blue-Eye recovery effort on Edgbaston Reserve in central Queensland.

Rob has a nicely varied back story that includes racing off-road cars and vintage motorcycles, but more importantly for the Red Finned Blue Eye, he has much experience and success in the conservation and protection of rare and threatened fish species and habitat restoration.

The Blue Eye certainly qualifies as both rare and, unfortunately, threatened – with their incredibly small natural range invaded by the aggressive introduced Gambusia fish.

Unlike most of us, Rob and his wife Kathy could hardly wait for the festive season to conclude. Christmas (and maybe a little rainfall) was holding them back from making the journey west to reacquaint themselves with the Edgbaston springs and their finned inhabitants.

Rob first visited Edgbaston as a conservation consultant in June 1991, shortly after the initial discovery of the Red-Finned Blue-Eye. During the 90s both Rob and Kathy undertook some of the earliest protection efforts. Cattle and feral animal exclusion fences that Rob constructed in that era are still standing and functioning today.

It was a great pleasure to be at Edgbaston to witness first hand Rob’s passion and depth of knowledge on all things aquatic as he revisited the individual springs he'd worked in and around many years ago. It was plain to see that both Rob and Kathy have a great love of the wide Australian landscape.

The challenges that stand in the way of a happy future for the Red-Finned Blue-Eye in their natural domain are many and varied, but it's good to know that the person leading the charge has a deep background with Edgbaston, its incredible springs and this unique species.