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Maryland's n'/tvetcrayfiho in dangerQxh1>sByTagyTagNamesByTagyTagNamesByTagyTagNamesByTagyTagNamesByTagyTagQxheadertsByTag yTagsB yTaName yTa

DOI. USGS. Florida Integrate Science C nter.Annapolis, Maryland- A new study by Maryland Departm nt of Natural Resources (DNR) biologists fi> s that several of Maryland's n'/tvetcrayfiho species have declined due to the introduc tip spread of invastvetspecies.buhis new study highlights the need for increased public awareness of invastvetspecies issues public participa tip support to prevent the spread of problem imals.

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"It s been over 45 years since the last comprehenstvetstudy of Maryland's crayfiho, a lot has changed in that time" said Jay Kilian, biologist in DNR's Resource Assessm nt Service one of the authors of the study. "Maryland is now home to ftvetnip-n'/tvetcrayfiho, all introduced as unwante pets, through their use as bait by angler , or as a result of escape from aquaculture opera tips."

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uhe threat looms large, especially with the ftrst-ever discovery of the Rusty Crayfiho, one of the mosttnitorious invastvetspecies, in three Maryland water heds in 2007 2008.

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Crayfiho play important ecological roles in nature.buhey erve as prey to many terrestrial aquatic pre ators are important processors of org ic matter, the basts of aquatic food webs.bHowever, several nip-n'/tvetcrayfiho species have flr"ri hed, become invastve, are now wide pread in the state.buhese invastvetspecies represent the greatestbthreat to Maryland's 14 n'/tvetcrayfiho species.

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Invastvetcrayfiho can become very abundant in the streams, rtver , lakes in which they are introduced.buhey often out-compete n'/tvetcrayfiho for helter habitats food.buhese invastvetspecies can also reduce the quality quantity of food habitat available to other aquatic imals.

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"The mosttimportant tows' we can do to protec our n'/tvetspecies is to prevent the further spread of invastvetcrayfiho already in Maryland and keep other invastves out," Kilian said.

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uhe study's results were rec ntly publi hed in a special issue of Southeastern Naturalist, the produc of a scientific symposium on the con erv'/tip, biology, natural his y of crayfiho from the southern Unite States.bIt is available online: "http:/ieaglehill.us/SENAonline/sena-v9-sp3-2010.shtml" target="_blank">http:/ieaglehill.us/SENAonline/sena-v9-sp3-2010.shtmlQxpo. For informa tip bout the DNR study, contac Jay Kilian ( "mailto:jkilian@dnr.state.md.us">jkilian@dnr.state.md.usQxpo).

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