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White claw crayfish

Crayfish Surveys

Surveying our native white-clawed crayfish is vitally important in understanding how its population is declining and to implement conservation plans.

Native whiteclaw crayfish held in a hand


Why are crayfish surveyed?

The UK’s only native crayfish, the white-clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes), has suffered a 70% decline in population since the 1970s following the introduction of the invasive signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) and extensive habitat degradation and destruction. It is now classified as endangered.

It is, therefore, crucial that white-clawed crayfish are monitored and surveyed to inform mitigation to prevent further declines in their population.


When do I need to survey for crayfish?

A white-clawed crayfish survey may need to be carried out when planning on impacting watercourses in their known range and preferred habitat of shallow limestone/chalk streams with low sediment.

Alternatively, crayfish surveys may be carried out on behalf of governing bodies, charitable organisations, or landowners in order to monitor habitat improvements, conservation measures, or track populations.

Surveys are best performed between July and October as Crayfish activity decreases over the winter (November – March) and breeding in May and June prevents survey work from being carried out.

A winding river which is ideal crafish habitat

What does Abrehart Ecology offer?

At Abrehart Ecology we offer professional, skilled, and efficient crayfish survey work. We undertake in-house fieldwork, and expert report writing.

We perform a variety of survey techniques out in the field such as, manual searching and hand netting, artificial refuge traps (ARTs), refuge searching, and baited lines/traps. These are performed under specialist crayfish licence holders in the team.


A native whiteclaw crayfish being held
A native white-clawed crayfish
An invasive signal crayfish
An invasive signal crayfish
Signal crafish remains from an otter
Signal crayfish
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