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Euastacus spinichelatus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA ARTHROPODA MALACOSTRACA DECAPODA PARASTACIDAE

Scientific Name: Euastacus spinichelatus
Species Authority: Morgan, 1997

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2010-06-01
Assessor(s): Coughran, J. & Furse, J.
Reviewer(s): Collen, B. & Richman, N.
Contributor(s): Livingston, F., Livingston, F., Soulsby, A.-M., Batchelor, A., Dyer, E., Whitton, F., Milligan, H.T., Smith, J., Lutz, M.L., De Silva, R., McGuinness, S., Kasthala, G., Jopling, B., Sullivan, K. & Cryer, G.
Justification:
Euastacus spinichelatus has been assessed as Endangered under criterion B1ab(iii). This species has a severely fragmented distribution, and an extent of occurrence of 488 km2. There has been a continuing decline in the quality of habitat due to the destructive nature of a number of exotic species in the area, some of which also predate upon this species. There is also destruction of suitable rainforest habitat in parts of its range. This species also faces the consequences of global temperature rise. As a restricted range species, dependent on cool, clear headwater streams, a slight increase in temperature could rapidly extirpate this species. Research should be initiated to include population assessment and monitoring, biological and life history information, habitat requirements, and resilience to effects of exotic species.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to Australia. It is known from the Hastings Range (northwest of Port Macquarie), New South Wales (Morgan 1997). This species is restricted to small, upland (more than 680 m above sea level) sections of streams that occur in several different drainages including the Apsley, Hastings and Manning rivers (Morgan 197). Given the barriers to upland, presented by mountain ridges and unsuitable lowland habitat (Morgan 1997, Ponniah and Hughes 2006), this species range can thus be considered severely fragmented across its range. This species has an estimated extent of occurrence of  488 km2.
Countries:
Native:
Australia (New South Wales)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:

There is no population information available for this species.

Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

This species inhabits small streams vegetated by temperate rainforest and wet or dry sclerophyll forest. It appears tolerant to clearing, and populations have been recorded in areas where even the banks have been cleared for pasture (Morgan 1997).

Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

This species is susceptible to a number of threats given its highly restricted range. In particular, it is extremely susceptible to localized threats, including bush fires, forest management practices, habitat destruction and over-exploitation by collectors (J. Coughran and J.M. Furse pers. comm. 2009). Furthermore, climate change, including increasing temperature, alterations to hydrological regimes, severe weather events, loss of suitable highland habitat and increased potential for bushfires pose a threat (Chiew and McMahon 2002, Howden 2003, Hughes 2003, Pittock 2003, Hennessy 2006, Westoby and Burgman 2006, IPCC 2007). There is also the potential large scale threat from Cane Toads (Bufo marinus) (DEH 2004b) although there are no specific data on impacts for this species. Other introduced exotic species (cats, foxes, pigs, goats) that have generally been found to impact on crayfish (Green and Osbourne 1981, Horwitz 1990, Merrick 1995, Eyre et al. 1997, ACT Government 2007, O'Brien 2007) also occur in this species' range (DEH 2004a,c,d,e) and given this species restricted distribution, could have impacts by contributing to declines in its distribution and/or abundance (J. Coughran and J.M. Furse pers. comm. 2009). Due to the narrow thermal tolerance of this species, and its restricted range (restricted to cool, headwater streams in forested catchments), global temperature increase has resulted in range contraction. This species is further compromised by the presence of exotic species (feral pigs, foxes, Cane Toads and cats) which are known to predate on crayfish and degrade riparian habitat; while the precise effects of these threats on this species are not yet well understood, they are believed to be significantly impacting the long term viability of the population (J. Furse and J. Coughran pers. comm. 2010).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

There are no species specific conservation measures in place for this species. In New South Wales, a minimum recreational size limit of 90 mm orbital carapace length (OCL) is in place for any spiny crayfish (NSW DPI 2007). This species does not attain that size, and so is indirectly protected by this restriction (J. Coughran and J.M. Furse pers. comm. 2009).

Research should be initiated to include population assessment and monitoring, biological and life history information, habitat requirements, and resilience to effects of exotic species (J. Coughran and J.M. Furse pers. comm. 2009). 



Citation: Coughran, J. & Furse, J. 2010. Euastacus spinichelatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 01 August 2014.
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