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Euastacus maidae

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA ARTHROPODA MALACOSTRACA DECAPODA PARASTACIDAE

Scientific Name: Euastacus maidae
Species Authority: Riek, 1956

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically 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 maidae has been assessed as Critically Endangered under criterion B1ab(iii). It has an extent of occurrence less than 100 km2 and is only known from one location (type locality) in the upper reaches of Currumbin Creek in southeast Queensland. This species occurs within a national park, but is still susceptible to threats such as bush fires, land management and overexploitation from collectors. Climate change, exotic species impacts, loss of suitable rainforest habitat and hydrological alterations also present threats to this species in its highly restricted range. Current threats include the degradation of habitat due to upstream agricultural practices. There are no specific conservation measures in place for this species, however its distribution is wholly within QueenslandParks and Wildlife Service property. Recent surveys have been unable to locate more than three specimens of this species. A detailed assessment of its population trends, and the quality and long-term security of its available habitat needs to be undertaken.

History:
1996 Endangered
1994 Rare (Groombridge 1994)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to Australia. The only published records of this species are from the type locality in the upper reaches of Currumbin Creek in southeast Queensland (Riek 1956, Morgan 1988), and it has not been collected below approximately 150 m above sea level (J. Coughran and J. M. Furse pers. comm. 2008). This species has an estimated extent of occurrence less than 100 km2 (J. Coughran and J. M. Furse pers. comm. 2008).
Countries:
Native:
Australia (Queensland)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is believed to be extremely rare within its highly restricted distribution (J. Coughran and J. M. Furse pers. comm. 2008). Despite various extensive targeted surveys (J.M. Furse pers. obs. 2000, 2001 and 2002, J. Coughran pers. obs. 2007 and 2008) only three specimens of this species were captured (J. Coughran and J. M. Furse pers. comm. 2008).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is known to occur in the Currumbin Creek, which is characterized by cool, clear, fast-flowing water in a rainforested area (J. Coughran and J. M. Furse pers. comm. 2008). This species is restricted to heavily shaded, well oxygenated waters in rainforest where it can burrow under logs and rocks. Furthermore, it co-occurs with the much larger Euastacus valentulus and Euastacus sulcatus (J. Coughran and J. M. Furse pers. comm. 2008).
Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Given its highly restricted range, this species 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). This species is also susceptible to climate change, including increasing temperature, alterations to hydrological regimes, severe weather events and loss of suitable highland habitat (Chiew and McMahon 2002, Howden 2003, Hughes 2003, Pittock 2003, Hennessy 2006, Westoby and Burgman 2006, IPCC 2007. Land use management on private properties situated at the top of the catchment (on the Springbrook Plateau), could lead to declines in habitat/water quality due to pesticides, pathogens, pollution, siltation, and eutrophication. Given the highly restricted distribution of this species, these impacts could lead to significant population declines, or extinction.    

There is a potential large scale threat from Cane Toads (Bufo marinus) (DEH 2004b) although there is no specific information on impacts upon 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 highly restricted distribution, could have serious impacts by contributing to declines in its distribution and/or abundance (J. Coughran and J.M. Furse pers. comm. 2009).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for this species, however its distribution is wholly within QueenslandParks and Wildlife Service property. Research should be initiated to include population assessment and monitoring, biological and life history information, habitat requirements, investigations into environmental tolerances and resilience to exotic species.  

 

All ‘spiny crayfish’ (Euastacus) species in Queensland are officially no take species under the Fisheries Act 1994 and must be released if captured (DPIF 2007). There is no information available on the levels of compliance, although evidence of illegal poaching is frequently observed. It is also noted that species such as Euastacus maidae are not spiny (Morgan 1988; Coughran 2008), and thus may be easily confused with smooth Cherax (unprotected) and inadvertently taken by recreational fishers.


Citation: Coughran, J. & Furse, J. 2010. Euastacus maidae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 18 September 2014.
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