Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


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CAAB: 37025004

Species Pristis clavata Garman, 1906

Dwarf Sawfish, Queensland Saw-fish, Queensland Sawfish, Smaller Sawfish



In Australia, Pristis clavata is listed as Vulnerable under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, Vulnerable in the Northern Territory under the Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 2000, Totally Protected in Western Australia under the Western Australian Fish Resources Management Act 1994, a No Take species in Queensland under the Fisheries Regulation 2008. Internationally it is listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN.




Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia

Extra Distribution Information

Kimberley coast, WA to Cairns, QLD; tropical.

Australian Endemic.

IBRA and IMCRA regions (map not available)


Northern Shelf Province (25), Northwest Shelf Transition (26), Northwest Shelf Province (27), Central Eastern Shelf Transition (39), Northeast Shelf Province (40), Northeast Shelf Transition (41)

Ecological Descriptors

Coastal, estuary, inshore.


General References

Compagno, L.J.V. & Last, P.R. 1999. Families Pristidae, Rhinidae, Rhinobatidae, Platyrhinidae. pp. 1410-1432 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 3 pp. 1397-2068. [1414]

Ishihara, H., Tanuichi, T., Sano, M. & Last, P.R. 1991. Record of Pristis clavata Garman from the Pentecost River, Western Australia, with brief notes on its osmoregulation, and comments on the systematics of the Pristidae. University Museum, University of Tokyo, Nature and Culture 3: 43-53 [43]

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Canberra : CSIRO Australia 513 pp. 84 pls. [362]

Last, P.R. & Stevens, J.D. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Collingwood : CSIRO Publishing Australia 2, 550 pp. [296]

McCulloch, A.R. 1929. A check-list of the fishes recorded from Australia. Part I. Memoirs of the Australian Museum 5: 1–144 [21]

Munro, I.S.R. 1961. Handbook of Australian fishes. Nos 1–42. Australian Fisheries Newsletter 15–17, 19, 20: 1-172 [published as separates 1956–1961] [95] (and 96)

Peverell, S.C 2005. Distribution of sawfishes (Pristidae) in the Queensland Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia, with notes on sawfish ecology. Environmental Biology of Fishes 73: 391-402

Stevens,J.D., R.B. McAuley, C.A. Simpfendorfer & R.D. Pillans 2008. Spatial distribution and habitat utilisation of sawfish (Pristis spp) in relation to fishing in northern Australia. A report to the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Art prepared. 26 pp. [CSIRO and Western Australia Department of Fisheries]

Thorburn, D.C., Morgan, D.L., Rowland, A.J., Gill, H.S. & Paling, E. 2008. Life history notes of the critically endangered Dwarf Sawfish Pristis clavata Garman 1906 from the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Environmental Biology of Fishes 83(2): 139-145

Whitley, G.P. 1940. The Fishes of Australia. Part 1. The sharks, rays, devil-fish, and other primitive fishes of Australia and New Zealand. Sydney : Roy. Zool. Soc. N.S.W. 280 pp. 303 figs. [178]

Whitley, G.P. 1964. A survey of Australian Ichthyology. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 89(1): 11-127 [34] (113)


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
16-Apr-2012 20-Aug-2013 MODIFIED
11-Mar-2010 MODIFIED