Glenelg Spiny Freshwater Crayfish  |  

Euastacus bispinosus

Status: Endangered on the EPBC Act list

The Glenelg Spiny Freshwater Crayfish is a large, long-lived freshwater crayfish, which is distinguished by its robust claws and spiny carapace (main body). This species is commonly olive green in colour, sometimes brown, with splashes of red colouration on the joints of their claws and legs. They are known to grow up to at least 130 mm OCL (occipital carapace length; length between eye and end of main body segment) and up to 1.1 kg in weight.

Government evidence of impact of climate change:

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  • Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Euastacus bispinosus

    Main factors causing this eligibility (Honan 2004 TSSC 2011 Whiterod et al. 2013) Restricted geographic distribution as a result of poor water quality (including salinity); clearing of riparian vegetation and declining flows and drying of habitats because of extensive eucalyptus plantations; groundwater extraction for irrigation; dams; drought and climate change.
    Address reduced flow in Victorian populations due to water regulation; changes in land use (e.g. plantations or impoundment in Glenelg River) and climatic pressures.
    Additional threats are (Honan 2004 TSSC 2011 Whiterod et al. 2013) genetic deterioration (inbreeding depression); introduction of disease; the risk of bushfire negatively affecting aquatic habitats via sedimentation and increased predation.
    Ensure in stream and catchment activities including structures (e.g. weirs; bridges); fuel reduction and fire response and change in land use (e.g. cropping; plantation timber) do not adversely affect water quality; quantity and seasonality.

  • Australian Government, Listing Advice, Euastacus bispinosus

    Collectively these are increasing the species vulnerability to climate variation.
    In contrast to Cherax yabby species; Euastacus crayfish breed and are mostly active in winter and have low tolerances to salinity; high water temperatures; drought and habitat degradation; and cannot survive prolonged drying out of their habitats.
    Drought has affected the catchment since the mid 1990s with increasingly severe effects.