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Cambarus pecki

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA ARTHROPODA MALACOSTRACA DECAPODA CAMBARIDAE

Scientific Name: Cambarus pecki
Species Authority: (Hobbs, 1967)
Common Name/s:
English Phantom Cave Crayfish
Synonym/s:
Procambarus pecki
Taxonomic Notes: From a study conducted by Buhay and Crandall (2009) Procambarus pecki has been transferred from the subgenus Remoticambarus of the genus Procambarus, to the subgenus Aviticambarus of the genus Cambarus. This has been based on genetic studies which more accurately reflect its evolutionary history.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2010-06-01
Assessor/s: Crandall, K.A.
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:
Cambarus pecki has been assessed as Endangered under criterion B1ab(iii). This species has an estimated extent of occurrence of approximately 5,000 km² and is located in three caves which are unconnected and therefore considered 3 locations. Surveys have been conducted to determine if this species has extended its range to other caves, but none have been recorded. Despite efforts to protect the recharge area surrounding some of this species habitat, it continues to come under threat from nearby expanding urbanisation. Monitoring of the population numbers and habitat status in each cave is urgently required to better understand how this species is being impacted by potential threats.
History:
1996 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found in three unconnected caves in the Tennessee drainage system in Colbert, Lauderdale, and Morgan counties, Alabama (Hobbs 1967, Buhay and Crandall 2009). The extent of occurrence of this species has been estimated to be around 5,000 km².
Countries:
Native:
United States (Alabama)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is very rare in the caves it occupies. Numerous surveys over the past 10 years have found zero to three individuals per trip (R. Thoma, T. Jones and J. Cordeiro pers. comm. 2009).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is found in subterranean streams and pools (Hobbs 1967). This species is reliant on nutrients entering the cave such as leaf litter, from heavy rains which wash into the cave (Hobbs 1967). At one of the caves, there is a substantial Gray Bat (Myotis grisescens) community, which is depositing bat guano into the cave, thereby increasing the availability of nutrients (USFWS 2009).
Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened by droughts which limit the amount of nutrients entering the caves and causes the subterranean pools to dry out (Hobbs 1967). In 1997 the US Fish and Wildlife Service purchased 428 ha within the recharge area of the Key Cave and hence established the Key Cave National Wildlife Refuge. Cotton production in this area has since been replaced with soybean and corn production, and chemical use has been restricted. At present, 80% of the recharge area is agricultural land but will be converted to forest and native grassland. Despite this, urbanisation in the area continues and threatens to lower the water table with the expansion of impermeable surfaces (Kuhajda and Mayden 2001).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

This species has been given a NatureServe Global Heritage Status Rank of G1G2 (Taylor et al. 2007, NatureServe 2009), and was assigned an American Fisheries Society Status of endangered (Taylor et al. 2007). The US Fish and Wildlife Service established a natural refuge around one of the caves in 1997 (USFWS 2009). Monitoring of the population trends and habitat status is needed.

Citation: Crandall, K.A. 2010. Cambarus pecki. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 16 April 2014.
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