07 Sep 2012 On the hunt for Glenelg Spiny Crayfish!
Oisín Sweeney (South Australian DEWNR), Lauren and myself have recently had a great time sampling Glenelg Spiny Crayfish across SW Victoria. The highlight was our (almost, 5am!) all nighter on the Crawford River where good catches were observed (thanks to advice from Jodie Honan and Charlie Cooper!). The sampling is contributing to a collaborative (DEWNR, Melbourne University and Aquasave – NGT) genetic study – funded by Friends of Mt Gambier Area Parks and a recent Norman Wettenhall Foundation grant – that will assess the genetic structure of SA population and key populations from Victoria to investigate current and historical patterns of gene flow and genetic diversity, provide a genetic baseline to assess the health the population into the future and identify whether distinctive conservation units (e.g. isolated, self-recruiting sub-populations) exist (see Conservation of Glenelg Spiny Crayfish). The project builds on recent monitoring of the South Australian population by Aquasave – NGT (commissioned by the Friends of Mt Gambier Area Parks) and will contribute valuable information to assist with the management of the species.
Cassy Hough from ABC Radio came out with us one night and you can hear her Rural Report/Victorian Country Hour spiny crayfish story here – ABC Rural Report 30th August – Spiny Crayfish, while Tim Marshall ran a short story from a day earlier, that can also be heard here – ABC 29th August – Spiny Crayfish.
We will keep you informed of other results as we continue sampling over the coming months.