Weight: up to 90g
Average Lifespan: 8-12 years
When to seeJanuary to December
AboutAs the UK's only native freshwater crayfish, the White-clawed crayfish is in decline due to the introduction of the non-native North American signal crayfish. This invasive species has brought disease to which our indigenous crayfish has no natural resistance. An omnivorous crustacean, the White-clawed crayfish eats invertebrates, carrion, water plants and dead organic matter. It inhabits small freshwater streams of a depth less than 1 metre, hiding underneath stones and rocks and in small crevices where they forage for food.
How to identifyThe White-clawed crayfish is small and bronze-coloured, with pale cream or rose undersides on its claws.
In our area
As well as competition from American Crayfish, White-clawed Crayfish are also under threat from river pollution and reduction in habitat quality. In Shropshire, populations have declined dramatically, the River Corve in South Shropshire did once have strong numbers of Crayfish, but we are unsure how many can now be found here.
Shropshire Wildlife Trust is working alongside partners to deliver a project which aims to survey waterways for the species, improve habitats and try and maintain populations. We are also aware that there is very low knowledge of Crayfish in Shropshire and would like to involve the community in survey work along stretches of their local river, helping us to raise awareness of the importance of keeping waterways clean for wildlife and securing the presence of Crayfish in our rivers.
Without action for conservation, White-clawed Crayfish will continue to be lost from sites and whole rivers.