The conservation status of freshwater crayfish: the basis for concern, listing and recovery processes, and community involvement
International Association for Astacology
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Natural Sciences / Centre for Ecosystem Management
In this paper I examine the basis for the concern about the conservation status of freshwater crayfish, set against a generally accepted model for biodiversity conservation, and processes that threatened the continued survival of crayfishes in inland waters. I explore how conservation biologists in particular have responded to these concerns, how these have or have not influenced the responses of regulatory bodies, and how communities in general have become involved. A qualitative evaluation of the effectiveness of responses to these concerns reveal significant gains in scientific understandings but shortcomings in terms of some national responses, formal listing processes are incomplete for freshwater crayfish, and the systematic preparation and implementation of recovery plans for listed freshwater crayfish is patchy at best, and non-existent at worst. Rectifying these, improving community engagement and non-scientific expressions of values of crayfish, and the closer attention given to evaluate recovery actions, together provide an agenda for the future conservation of freshwater crayfish worldwide.