Getting to know the Hairy Burrowing Crayfish

Getting to know the Hairy Burrowing Crayfish

Last Sunday I finally had the pleasure of seeing one of western Victoria’s most cryptic and charismatic species, the Hairy Burrowing Crayfish (Engaues sericatus). Over the past few months, we have been meeting with Environmental Science students at Hawkesdale P-12 College and keeping a watchful eye on a group of crayfish burrows spotted along a creek at Apex Park in the town centre. During the winter months, these crayfish are busy maintaining their underground homes and build ‘chimney-like’ structures at the surface of their burrows which are often visible from the roadside in drains and low-lying pastoral areas. The students have become “citizen scientists” by recording the number of crayfish burrows along a series of transects in the park and have also been recording the location of chimneys on their properties.