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White Clawed Crayfish

There is a considerable amount of legislation in place to protect the white-clawed crayfish. This species is listed under the European Union’s (EU) Habitat and Species Directive and is listed under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981). As a result of this and other relevant crayfish legislation such as the Prohibition of Keeping of Live Fish (Crayfish) Order 1996,  a series of licenses are needed for working with white-clawed and non-native crayfish. Our ecology team are set up to undertake these surveys.

Timing: A window in April and then July-October. May and June are avoided as females are releasing their young in this period.

Examples when one could be needed may include drainage, stream and ditch excavations, developments near water ways.



Client: Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust

Wildscapes’ ecology team carried out a series of crayfish surveys to establish the status of white-clawed crayfish within the rivers and streams to the west of Sheffield. We carried out surveys in areas where no known surveys had been done before and found new populations of invasive signal crayfish. We also assessed the health of a known population of native crayfish. Sheffield has two large and nationally significant populations of native white-clawed crayfish; like red squirrels, there are only a few small pockets of them nationally. These surveys helped to inform the background picture of where they are and where to look for them in future. The information was very useful in understanding the status of white-clawed crayfish in Sheffield and has helped to direct future surveys and work to preserve this threatened species.