November 11, 2010 Leave a comment
As one of Europe’s five native crayfish species, the white clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes) has suffered a huge decline in numbers in the last couple of decades. This docile crustacean is usually found hiding under rocks in streams, rivers and lakes, only emerging at night to avoid predators. A fortnight ago it’s IUCN status was upgraded from ‘vulnerable’ to ‘endangered’ on the Red List of Threatened Species, with experts predicting it could be extinct within 30 years. It has recently been documented that 50 to 80% of the populations in England, Italy and France have disappeared in the last 10 years. What could be causing such a devastating loss in the U.K.?