Crayfish experts 'correcting gene pool'

July 15, 2009
Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) News

More than 2,000 rare crayfish will be released into the Margaret River this week, following a five-year breeding program to save the endangered species.

The hairy marron is under threat from the more common smooth marron, which has been mating with hairy marron females.

It is hoped the breeding program will produce up to 10,000 hairy marron each year.

Craig Lawrence from the Pemberton Freshwater Research Centre says the specially bred hairy marron will be released in areas where smooth maroon and hybrid species have been removed.

"This breeding program will hopefully flood the system with the correct gene pool," he said.

Mr Lawrence says the marron will be tagged before they are released.

"We'll track this population for several more years," he said.

"It really depends on the rate of recovery as to the period we will track them, but we will monitor the population just as we monitor marron populations throughout the state."

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