Euastacus setosus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Arthropoda Malacostraca Decapoda Parastacidae

Scientific Name: Euastacus setosus Riek, 1956

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(iii)+2ab(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., 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.

Euastacus setosus has been assessed as Critically Endangered B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii). This species is only known from one location, and has an estimated extent of occurrence of 10 km²; its area of occupancy is almost certainly less than 10 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.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

This species is endemic to Australia. It is known only from a limited number of sites proximal to the type locality, in headwater tributaries of the Pine River near Mount Glorious, northwest of Brisbane (Riek 1969, J. Coughran and J.M. Furse pers. comm. 2009). It is thought to possibly occur elsewhere in the D'Aguilar Range, although rainforest in the area has been extensively cleared and persists only in some gullies of state forests and national parks (Morgan 1998). This species has an estimated extent of occurrence of approximately 10 km² (J. Coughran and J.M. Furse pers. comm. 2009); its area of occupancy is almost certainly less than 10 km².

Countries occurrence:
Australia (Queensland)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:0-10
Number of Locations:1
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


The species is known to be rare (J. Coughran and J.M. Furse pers. comm. 2009).

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

This species inhabits cool, running headwater creeks in rainforested areas above 500 m (Morgan 1988). Like other species of Euastacus, this species prefers heavily shaded, well oxygenated waters where it can burrow under logs and rocks (Horwitz 1990).


Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Given the restricted range of this species, 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, it is also susceptible to climate change impacts such as increasing temperature, alterations to hydrological regimes, severe weather events, loss of suitable rainforest habitat and increased potential for bushfires (Chiew and McMahon 2002, Howden 2003, Hughes 2003, Pittock 2003, Hennessy 2006, Westoby and Burgman 2006, IPCC 2007). In addition, the Cane Toad (Rhinella marina) also poses a threat (DEH 2004b), although there are no specific data on impacts for this species. Other exotic introduced 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 and rarity, could have serious impacts on this species 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, goats, 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, however its distribution range coincides with Maiala National Park. Research should be initiated to include population assessment and monitoring, biological and life history information, habitat requirements, investigations into thermal tolerance 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 setosus 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 setosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T8146A12891752. . Downloaded on 19 September 2018.
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