Risk assessment of pet-traded decapod crustaceans in the Republic of Kazakhstan, the leading country in Central Asia.
The pet trade with decapod crustaceans has been considered one of the main pathway of introduction of these animals worldwide. As the leading markets in this regards are the Czech Republic, Germany and the USA. Central Asia is not perceived as an important market with ornamental decapod crustaceans. Despite this assumption, we found at least 16 species of freshwater shrimp, crayfish and crab species pet-traded in the Republic of Kazakhstan, the largest country in this region. Considering computed risk assessment, the origin of particular species, their availability on the market, the probability of establishment and further aspects, we identified two crayfish Procambarus clarkii and Procambarus fallax f. virginalis being the seriously hazardous taxa with high potential to threaten native crayfish species as well as inhabited ecosystems. To prevent their introductions and to minimize the risks of mentioned species, similarly as in the case of European Union, we recommend the total ban of import, trade and keeping of these high-risk taxa within Central Asia.