Habitat use by the endangered white-clawed crayfish
Understanding habitat requirements is a key part of conserving declining species, particularly when reintroductions are planned as part of the recovery strategy. The white-clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes) has undergone severe declines across its range and is now classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as ‘endangered’. Translocation of threatened A. pallipes populations to isolated ‘Ark sites’ where threats are minimised is an increasingly used conservation tool. A full feasibility assessment of potential Ark sites, including an assessment of habitat suitability, is recommended within translocation guidelines developed by the IUCN. This literature review employed a systematic search and ‘vote counting’ approach to identify and assess the relative importance of physical habitat requirements of A. pallipes. Many habitat features were positively associated with crayfish presence, in particular: boulder substrate, trees/shading, woody debris, exposed roots, and undercut banks; and habitat use patterns varied among crayfish sexes and size classes. Ark sites should incorporate heterogeneous habitat, with as many of these features as possible, to provide both ample refugia and rich foraging areas.
Auteurs du document :
Paula J. Rosewarne, Robert J.G. Mortimer, Alison M. Dunn