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Extinction Countdown

Disease-Carrying Virile American Crayfish Invade U.K. Rivers

virile crayfish

U.S. crayfish and their British cousins do not get along. First the U.K. was invaded by the American signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) carrying the deadly crayfish plague, which has killed 95 percent of Britain’s native white-clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes) over the past 20 years. Now another invasive crayfish species—the virile crayfish (Orconectes virilis), native to [...]

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Extinction Countdown

British crayfish now officially endangered, thanks to killer fungus

Scientists and conservationists from around Europe will gather this week at a conference to discuss how to save the U.K.’s white-clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes) from the fungal plague that is rapidly wiping them out. As I wrote last year, around 95 percent of British crayfish have been killed in the past two decades, victims of [...]

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Extinction Countdown

British crayfish get a “safe haven” from American invaders and a fungus that eats them from the inside out

Looking for crayfish in Britain? Look hard. Almost 95 percent of British crayfish have been wiped out in the last 20 years. Now some of the few remaining crustaceans are going into hiding in a desperate, last-gasp chance to save their species from extinction. Like so many problems around the world, this one can be [...]

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Guest Blog

The decade the clones came: Beware the mighty Marmokrebs!

At the start of the decade, I had no idea that the invaders were among us. No scientist did. Invasions are like that sometimes. We expect invasions to be like H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds: a large force arrives suddenly, announcing its presence with a voice that cannot be ignored. But sometimes they’re more [...]

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