Thursday 20 June 2019

'Crayfish plague' poses threat to endangered native species

Ireland has one of the world’s largest populations of white-clawed crayfish, a globally endangered species. Photo: PA
Ireland has one of the world’s largest populations of white-clawed crayfish, a globally endangered species. Photo: PA

Allison Bray

Ireland's white-clawed crayfish, one of the world's largest populations of the endangered species, are under increasing threat from non-native crayfish and a disease known as the "crayfish plague".

The National Parks and Wildlife Service, along with the Marine Institute, yesterday warned of a "severe and increasing threat to our native crayfish species".

They are urging pet shops to contact them immediately if they keep non-native invasive crayfish, which are now banned here by law.

Ireland has one of the world's largest populations of white-clawed crayfish, a globally endangered species.

But the emergence of a disease known as crayfish plague and the introduction of non-native crayfish into rivers are threatening to wipe out the native species.

Seven Irish rivers - most recently the River Maigue near Adare, Co Limerick - have seen cases of the crayfish plague, while the Australian crayfish, the yabby, has been found here for the first time.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News