White-clawed crayfish breeding success

by Owen James

The white-clawed crayfish is one of the UK’s most endangered species, but the good news is a breeding program has seen 300 crayfish youngsters produced in the Yorkshire Dales this year:

“The news that white-clawed crayfish are breeding in increasing numbers in the Yorkshire Dales is extremely encouraging and shows that targeted conservation work can make a real impact,” said Dr Helen Phillips, chief executive of Natural England. “The success of this project gives grounds for hoping that extinction is by no means inevitable.”

The once-common white-clawed crayfish is being outcompeted by an introduced rival, the North American signal crayfish. As well as being more aggressive, it also carries a disease that’s deadly to the native white-clawed crayfish.

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