Global Diversity and Conservation of Freshwater Crayfish (Crustacea: Decapoda: Astacoidea)

  • Tadashi KawaiEmail author
  • Keith A. Crandall


The number of species in the three families of freshwater crayfish worldwide (Astacidae, Cambaridae, and Parastacidae) are updated by region. These are: Astacidae, western North America (5 species) and Europe (5 species), Cambaridae, eastern North America and Mexico (423 species) and Asia (6 species), and Parastacidae, Oceania (153 species), South America (12 species), and Madagascar (7 species). The conservation status of 611 species of crayfish worldwide is discussed, based on global assessments from the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List protocols as well as regional assessments on governmental endangered species lists. The current threats to endangered species of crayfish include habitat destruction, water diversion, pollution, and threats from exotic species of crayfish (such as Pacifastacus leniusculus, Procambarus clarkii and Cherax) that have been introduced to other parts of the world where they are having an increasing impact. New threats posed by the parthenogenetic marbled crayfish Procambarus fallax f. virginalis to freshwater ecosystems in Europe and Madagascar are also discussed.


Alien crayfish Conservation Species diversity IUCN Red List 



The senior author (TK) expresses sincere thanks to Dr. Evgeny Barabanshchikov of the Pacific Research Fisheries Center for kindly providing information on the Chinese names of Asian crayfishes, and to Professor Hyun Sook Ko of Silla University, Korea, and Professor Gi-Sik Min of Inha University, Korea, who shared information on crayfish conservation in Korea.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wakkanai Fisheries Research InstituteWakkanaiJapan
  2. 2.Computational Biology InstituteGeorge Washington UniversityWashingtonUSA

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