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Spiny Crayfish

October 2018

Felicity Sturgiss, Land Services Officer

South East Local Land Services is working with DPI Fisheries Threatened Species Unit to work toward securing the future of the Critically Endangered Fitzroy Falls Spiny Crayfish.

A 12 month project funded by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program is underway with the initial round of population studies undertaken in late September.

Euastacus dharawalus is Australia's most critically endangered crayfish. Listed in 2011, this Spiny Cray is one of more than 50 remarkable Euastacus species, 75% of whom are also endangered. The decline of these enigmatic shredders of the upland waterways signals a critical time for intervention.

With a changing climate already variable at best, this project seeks to build species resilience by re-instating vital cooling riparian vegetation, working with land managers to protect habitat, acting to reduce competition and predation from invasive species and to undertake essential new surveys and research to better manage the species for its survival.

A substantial increase in information resources will support the community in their ongoing stewardship of these iconic freshwater emblems of healthy upland waterways.

September surveys revealed a decline in numbers, however breeding females were noted. Very low water levels are a likely cause of decline, making the timing of this work crucial.

To find out more:

Contact felicity.sturgiss@lls.nsw.gov.au or erin.lake@dpi.nsw.gov.au and take a look at the DPI species profile and get tuned in to our native freshwater crays! https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/species-protection/what-current/critically/fitzroy-falls-spiny-crayfish.