Environment The secret life of prawns

The secret life of prawns

Imagine spending over three years in and out of a boat, following more than 9000 prawns along a 400 kilometre stretch from Katherine to the mouth of the Daly River in the Northern Territory. That’s exactly what Charles Darwin University PhD graduate Peter Novak did to conduct a PHD study into why an iconic freshwater prawn species (known locally as cherabin) was disappearing.

The result of Dr Novak’s research is the first study ever to be released on the life cycle of the species – valuable baseline data that can now be used to improve the management of cherabin populations in the Northern Territory.

“Now we not only know how important river flow is to the survival of these cherabin populations, but also how vital the species is in the linkage between freshwater and estuarine food webs,” he said. “Any developments that might impede the migratory behaviour of cherabin could have significant impacts at an ecosystem sca

It’s studies like this, that are the key to our future and why funding for our universities is essential to keep Australia clever.

For further reading please visit Charles Darwin University.