SPECIES: Engaewa reducta — Dunsborough Burrowing Crayfish

CLASSIFICATION: Critically endangered

This week we look at a species of crayfish, the Dunsborough Burrowing Crayfish that finds itself listed as a critically endangered species. It’s a small crayfish, mid-brown colour with purplish-blue claws. Large claws enable this cray to dig or burrow, as the name suggests, in sandy soil in which it lives.

The Dunsborough Burrowing Crayfish is endemic to the south-west of WA, known from two areas and found in the Dunsborough, Margaret and Blackwood River areas. The species is distinguished from the river systems in which they are found. Burrowing Crayfish eat rotting wood, root material and occasionally animal material. Threats include habitat loss – land clearing and forestry activity and cattle grazing to name a few.

Currently there are no populations estimates for the Dunsborough Burrowing Crayfish which is quite a worrying sign for its future.

Photo: WA Department of Environment & Conservation

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