Mechanical excavation cannot eradicate invasive crayfish

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In our recent paper in Ecological Solutions and Evidence we looked at an ecological restoration project in Malta that I had been involved with in 2019-2020. Invasive American Red Swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) had been first identified within the Fiddien Valley System in Malta in 2016 (Deidun et al., 2018; Vella et al., 2017) and due to very limited natural predators, their population grey rapidly, causing significant damage to the delicate freshwater ecosystem present. Funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the Maltese Government did take initiative and had attempted to eradicate the invasive crayfish from this valley system through mechanical excavation, however, this effort was unsuccessful.

You can read our article in full in Ecological Solutions and Evidence, and access the full dataset collected on Github. A layman report with additional photos is available on Applied Ecological Resources.

Our research has also been discussed in The Applied Ecologist, the Conservation Evidence Blog and in the Global Water Forum.