Invasive crayfish are one of the biggest threats to aquatic ecosystems worldwide. They can cause major adverse effects on native crayfish, invertebrates, fish and plant communities. In the UK signal crayfish have been responsible for a massive decline in our native white-clawed crayfish due to competition and transmission of a deadly disease, crayfish plague.
Nicky is able to provide realistic advice underpinned by contemporary scientific research
Many believe that the eradication of invasive crayfish is impossible and they may be right! However there are often options for protecting individual native crayfish populations at risk via limiting the spread of the invaders using an adaptive approach potentially combining more than one method. The potential for control depends on the type of watercourse and resources available but may include trapping, dewatering or electrofishing.
Nicky can advise on whether invasive crayfish control is a feasible option. If control is not possible, translocation to a safe ‘Ark’ site may protect native crayfish at risk, and again Nicky can advise on locating ark sites and setting up translocation and monitoring work. Captive breeding and reintroduction is another option and Nicky can advice on this via her extensive network of professional contacts.
In these times of austerity there is little hope of funding for crayfish projects from central government. Most control efforts need to be long term, therefore the commitment of local stakeholders is crucial. Nicky has extensive experience of working with volunteers and local interest groups and can help recruit, train and manage volunteers. She can also provide advice on obtaining funding and support for control projects.
For more information on how to set up a citizen science crayfish project click here