Refuge offers hope for English crayfish
Yorkshire Post
Dec. 26, 2007

ENGLISH crayfish driven out of rivers by their aggressive North American cousin can now enjoy a haven at Derbyshire's first sanctuary for the endangered creatures.

Chesterfield park rangers have created a new home for 70 native white-claw crayfish, which are under threat from the bigger and stronger signal crayfish.

At the new home, they will be able to roam in clean water, hide behind submerged stones and avoid the crayfish plague carried by the North American species.

"We hope these pioneers will boldly go where no crayfish has gone before, find a nice stone to hide under, and have lots of babies in the spring," sustainability officer Nichola Baker said.

"It has recently become increasingly clear to conservationists that our native white-clawed crayfish could only survive in complete isolation away from the invading signal crayfish.

"We discovered that white-clawed crayfish had disappeared from the River Hipper, possibly because of an outbreak of crayfish plague.

"The report recommended several locations which might have made suitable sanctuaries, but in the end only one country park had all the creature comforts required."

If crayfish breeding is successful in the new habitat, Chesterfield Council will look into expanding the sanctuary over the next few years.