Native White-clawed Crayfish

The White-clawed Crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes) is the only species of crayfish native to the UK.


They live in ponds, lakes, rivers and canals and it is thought that the UK has about a quarter of the world’s population.

When they are small, native crayfish can be eaten by dragonfly larvae (amongst other things) and even when they are bigger native crayfish can be eaten by trout, herons, mink and otters.

The White-clawed Crayfish is protected under Annex II and V of the EC Water Habitats Directive and has a species action plan.

The native White-clawed Crayfish is under threat, mainly from the Signal crayfish which was introduced from the USA.

Crayfish homes
In the lakes and ponds where native crayfish are thought to live, ‘refuges’ can help to protect them. Refuges are places where the crayfish can hide from predators and is as simple as putting a few bricks in the edge of the pond.

Related Links
Biodiversity Action Reporting System website
White-clawed crayfish Species Action Plan
Joint Nature Conservancy Council website
Protection for White-clawed Crayfish
Water Habitats Directive