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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Relaxed Attitude Towards Spreading of Alien Crayfish Species Affects Protection of Native Crayfish Species: Case Studies and Lessons Learnt from a Fennoscandian Viewpoint

Jussila, Japo; Edsman, Lennart


The spreading of the alien signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) is posing an ongoing threat to native European crayfish species in Fennoscandia, like the native noble crayfish (Astacus astacus). The signal crayfish is commonly a chronic carrier of the crayfish plague (Aphanomyces astaci), thus, in addition to being more competitive than noble crayfish, it also has a competitive advantage in this disease over the noble crayfish. The challenges rising from the introduction of the alien signal crayfish to Sweden, Finland and finally also Norway, are similar in nature. The licensed and unlicensed spreading of this species also has a similar history in these countries. In this paper we describe some of the patters of the spread of alien signal crayfish and highlight the detrimental nature of an alien crayfish, accompanied by a highly virulent disease, to native Fennoscandian crayfish and also to native Fennoscandian ecosystems. A halt to the further spreading of alien signal crayfish in Fennoscandia is the only means to ensure successful conservation outcomes for the noble crayfish. Copyright (C) 2020 by The Author(s). Published by the International Association of Astacology.


conservation; crayfish plague; Finland; noble crayfish; signal crayfish; spreading; Sweden

Published in

Freshwater Crayfish
2020, Volume: 25, number: 1, pages: 39-46

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