Short Communication

First record of the invasive Australian redclaw crayfish Cherax quadricarinatus (von Martens, 1868) in the Crocodile River, Kruger National Park, South Africa

Robin M. Petersen, Andries C. Hoffman, Pieter Kotze, Sean M. Marr
Koedoe | Vol 59, No 1 | a1435 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v59i1.1435 | © 2017 Robin M. Petersen, Andries C. Hoffman, Pieter Kotze, Sean M. Marr | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 August 2016 | Published: 31 March 2017

About the author(s)

Robin M. Petersen, Scientific Services, South African National Parks, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Andries C. Hoffman, Aquatic Systems, Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency, South Africa
Pieter Kotze, Clean Stream Biological Services, Malelane, South Africa
Sean M. Marr, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, Grahamstown, South Africa


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Abstract

The redclaw crayfish Cherax quadricarinatus (von Martens, 1868), a robust freshwater crayfish native to Australia and Papua New Guinea, has now been recorded from the Kruger National Park (KNP). Previously absent from the Crocodile River, SAN Parks received a report in February 2016 of redclaw crayfish below the Van Graan Dam on the border of the KNP. Here, we provide evidence of the presence of redclaw crayfish in the Crocodile River. A better understanding of the redclaw crayfish distribution, habitat preferences, rate of spread and impacts on the local aquatic ecosystems in the Crocodile River is urgently required to develop mitigation strategies that minimise the spread of this invasive crayfish in the KNP and the Komati Catchment. The negative impacts of global crayfish introductions justify efforts to discourage further introductions and prevent their secondary spread.

Conservation implications: A better understanding of the redclaw crayfish distribution, habitat preferences, rate of spread and impacts on the local aquatic ecosystems in the Crocodile River is urgently required to develop mitigation strategies that minimise the spread of this invasive crayfish in the Kruger National Park and the Komati Catchment.


Keywords

Invasion biology; Protected Areas

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