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Clark's Crayfish (Euastacus clarkae)

Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 12054688

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 12054688) - Clark's Crayfish - Awarded $8,000 on January 15, 2013

Ellen Clark's crayfish Euastacus clarkae is endemic to a small part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia. The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia include the most extensive areas of subtropical rainforest in the world, large areas of warm temperate rainforest and nearly all of the Antarctic beech cool temperate rainforest. It is a serial World Heritage Area and is comprised of several protected areas in north-east NSW and south-east Queensland. The distribution area of Euastacus clarkae is contained wholly within Werrikimbee National Park, part of the Gondwana Rainforest.

Euastacus clarkae is currently not listed under any State or Federal conservation legislation, but listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCNs, Red List of Threatened Species. That assessment was based on uncertainties around the distribution of the species as currently only known from two highland locations close together, with little or nothing known on its biological and ecological requirements.

The Australian Crayfish Project (ACP) works towards increasing the profile and knowledge base on freshwater crayfish and their habitat, aiming to protect and conserve all Australian crayfish. Recent work as part of the ACP currently suggests the species is more widely distributed than previously suspected, being contained wholly within the highland section of the Werrikimbee section of the Gondwana Rainforest. The research is ongoing with the rugged remote area proving difficult to survey, additionally, major storm events and flooding has seen access to the area dramatically restricted. With the assistance of the National Parks and Wildlife Service we are slowly penetrating further and further into this remote highland rainforest area and with the approaching spring weather we hope to complete the project.

We continue to discover exciting biological and ecological information not only about E. clarkae but also the other seven species of freshwater crayfish occurring within the survey area.

The aim of this Mohamed bin Zayed Species project is:
• To define the distribution of Euastacus clarkae
• Define its habitat requirements
• Increase the knowledge base on its biology and ecology
• Provide a taxonomic redescription of the species
• Determine its conservation status with recommendations for listing at a State/Federal level.
• Survey the whole Hastings River drainage to determine the distribution of all the Parastacidae species in the area
• Attempt to understand species interactions and habitat partitioning of the eight species occurring within the Hastings River catchment


Project 12054688 location - Australia, Oceania