The preliminary outcomes of our spiny crayfish genetics project (funded by Friends of Mt Gambier Area Parks and Norman Wettenhall Foundation) have recently been published (a copy of the paper is attached here). The main focus of the paper was to document genetic markers that will form the basis of the comprehensive population genetic assessment that we are currently undertaking across the known range of the species. The paper also provides preliminary insight into the genetic status of the Ewens Pond population, revealing limited genetic diversity and extreme inbreeding and indicating that management actions may be necessary to restore genetic diversity to this at risk population (and possibly other populations depending on outcomes of comprehensive genetic assessment) .
It is concerning findings such as those described above that have prompted us to organise a Crayfish Conservation Workshop to be conducted in late June this year. The workshop will brief key stakeholders on the present status and help to develop a coordinated cross-boundary strategy to manage this iconic species.
We will keep you posted on the outcomes of the broader genetic assessment and the conservation workshop.