Species of the month – releasing Murray Crayfish back where they were lost

The Murray Crayfish is the world’s second largest freshwater crayfish and once occurred widely over the Murrumbidgee and Murray catchments in southern Australia. The species has experienced widespread declines in range and abundance and is now under threat across sections of its range. Through extensive research, Sylvia and Nick from Aquasave-NGT have helped to better understand and conserve this iconic species.

A five-year translocation project, a collaboration with NSW DPI (Fisheries), which commenced in 2017 is helping to re-establish the species in areas of its former range where it has been lost. The photo shows one of the 200 crayfish released during winter 2020, which are helping to reinforce the reintroduced population, which is now showing signs of local reproduction and growth.

Translocation efforts are helping to speed up the recovery of this slow moving and slow breeding cray (Females take up to ten years to reach reproductive age). Photo: Nick Whiterod.

Lauren Kivisalu