White-clawed Crayfish

White-Clawed Crayfish
Austropotamobius pallipes

The Threats

The White-clawed Crayfish is the UK’s only native species of crayfish. They are classified as endangered and in decline due to the introduction of the non-native American signal crayfish. The Signal crayfish has introduced a disease to our waterways which kill our White-clawed crayfish as they have no natural resistance. White-clawed crayfish are a very important part of our ecosystem

At Northumberland Zoo

Northumberland Zoo have plans in place to have a captive 'ark-site' set up for white-clawed crayfish which will be hugely beneficial in the future if there are any waterways which need to be re-populated. This ark-site will also provide us with an ideal opportunity for educating our zoo visitors.

WIth the intentions of the crayfish breeding project being based on-site within the public area of the zoo on a major walkway, this offers an ideal opportunity to educate and inform the public about the natural ecology, biosecurity, invasive species' threat as well as the conservation efforts being made for this iconic species.

This facility will be seen through a viewing window as a lab-type setting where public will be able to see where the captive population is held. In addition to this, we will have a public viewing tank, where some crayfish can be displayed next to the public viewing area allowing visitors to see crayfish up close and not affect the breeding populations which are housed in the 'lab'. This public display tank will feature a similar habitat to how crayfish would be found in the north east of England and it would also be accompanied by a TV screen with a crayfish informational video.

What YOU can do Today - EASY

The best way to prevent the spread of the plague is by keeping good biosecurity measures. This is to ensure that all footwear, equipment and vehicles are checked, cleaned and dry before entering any water, including small streams AND before moving from one body of water to another. Learn more about what you can do to help White-clawed Crayfish from the Enivronment Agency.

We are proud to be partnering with the local Environment Agency as well as Bristol Zoological Society on this project. We will have the only captive held White-clawed Crayfish in the North of England.

If you would like to make a donation to help us with our conservation aims, you can donate here.

This new exhibit area is set to be running and on-show to the public by Summer 2021.

Photo: Northeast Crayfish conservation meeting


White-clawed Crayfish