Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Detection and control of invasive freshwater crayfish: from traditional to innovative methods.

Abstract

Invasive alien species are widespread in freshwater systems compared to terrestrial ecosystems. Among crustaceans, crayfish in particular have been widely introduced and are considered a major threat to freshwater ecosystem functioning. New emerging techniques for detecting and controlling invasive crayfish and protecting endangered native species are; thus, now highly desirable and several are under evaluation. Important innovations have been developed in recent years for detection of both invasive and native crayfish, mainly through eDNA, which allows for the detection of the target species even at low abundance levels and when not directly observable. Forecasting models have also moved towards the creation of realistic invasion scenarios, allowing effective management plans to be developed in advance of invasions. The importance of monitoring the spread and impacts of crayfish and pathogens in developing national data and research networks is emphasised; here "citizen science" can also play a role. Emerging techniques are still being considered in the field of invasive crayfish control. Although for decades the main traditional techniques to manage invasive crayfish were solely based on trapping, since 2010 biological, biocidal, autocidal controls and sexual attractants, monosex populations, RNA interference, the sterile male release technique and oral delivery have all also been investigated for crayfish control. In this review, ongoing methodologies applied to the detection and management of invasive crayfish are discussed, highlighting their benefits and limitations.