Population ecology of endangered white-clawed crayfish (
Sound knowledge on distribution and ecology of imperiled species is an essential prerequisite for effective conservation planning. Here, we report the distribution and autecological traits of a newly discovered population of critically-endangered white-clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes s. str.) in a small river in southwestern Germany. Using an established crayfish survey protocol, we detected white-clawed crayfish in a river stretch of 4.5 km, with an estimated abundance of 1.4 ± 0.2 indiv.·m-2. The sex ratio was even and sexual maturity was attained at approximately 25 mm carapace length (CL). Life-history traits, as assessed using Von Bertalanffy’s growth function, indicate a life history most similar to populations in France, with longevity, asymptotic size, and growth performance index being higher in males than in females (11 y, 46 mm CL, and 2.8 and 9 y, 41 mm CL, and 2.7, for males and females, respectively). Estimated fecundity ranged from 9 to 135 eggs·female-1 (mean: 90 ± 28). White-clawed crayfish were also found in lower reaches of small tributary streams, of which one also featured endangered stone crayfish (Austropotamobius torrentium). A syntopic occurrence of both species was recorded for the first time within a short stretch. Implications for species conservation are discussed.
Auteurs du document :
F. Wendler, R. Biss, C. Chucholl
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Mots clés :
population dynamics, imperiled species, white-clawed crayfish, stone crayfish, Austropotamobius, dynamique des populations, espèces en péril, écrevisse à pattes blanches, écrevisse de torrent