(above) White-clawed crayfish © Amanda Broom
(below) The River Allen © Nicky Hoar, Dead White-clawed crayfish © Amanda Broom
In response to the outbreak of the deadly Crayfish plague which has been found on Dorset’s River Allen in Wimborne, Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) has launched an urgent appeal to help save our native white-clawed crayfish from dying out in Dorset.
After the discovery of dead white-clawed crayfish on the River Allen in July 2014, an investigation by DWT and the Environment Agency confirmed the deadly crayfish plague was present on the river. So far, over 100 white-clawed crayfish have been found dead from the River Allen, which is one of just three rivers with a native crayfish population in Dorset.
The white-clawed crayfish is the UK’s only native crayfish, but has suffered a catastrophic decline in recent years
The white-clawed crayfish is the UK’s only native crayfish, but has suffered a catastrophic decline in recent years following the introduction of the non-native American Signal crayfish which carries a plague which is deadly to native white-clawed crayfish. Other threats which face white-clawed crayfish include habitat degradation, pollution and changes to water quality.
DWT wants to avoid white-clawed crayfish from being lost altogether from the river by raising £33,000 to protect the surviving native crayfish
DWT’s Conservation Officer, Amanda Broom, said “We were very disappointed to find dead White-clawed crayfish on the River Allen, which is a result of the thoughtless introduction of non-native species. DWT wants to avoid white-clawed crayfish from being lost altogether from the river by raising £33,000 to protect the surviving native crayfish. The money will be used to bolster our crayfish river restoration work here and on other Dorset rivers that will benefit white-clawed crayfish and other river wildlife for years to come.”
DWT will also encourage river users to adhere to the ‘Check, Clean, Dry’ biosecurity procedures that help prevent the spread of the disease
DWT will also encourage river users to adhere to the ‘Check, Clean, Dry’ biosecurity procedures that help prevent the spread of the disease, by checking equipment and clothing when leaving the river, cleaning and washing all equipment, clothing and foot wear and drying thoroughly to prevent spores from surviving.
100% of the donation will be used for crayfish conservation and crayfish river restoration work in Dorset
To donate online, please visit our website here. 100% of the donation will be used for crayfish conservation and crayfish river restoration work in Dorset. You can also donate directly by texting: CLAW14 (£ donation amount) to 70070.
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Sally Welbourn at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
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Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.