Original Articles

Potential impacts of alien freshwater crayfish in South Africa


The habitat preferences and life history characteristics of four alien species of freshwater crayfish (Cherax tenuimanus, C. destructor, C. quadricarinatus and Procambarus clarkii) are reviewed. The potential impact of these species on South African freshwater ecosystems is assessed and the desirability of allowing their importation evaluated. On the basis of principles espoused in the European Inland Fisheries Advisory Council's Code of Practice on Aquatic Introductions, it is recommended that importation permits should not be granted for any of these species.

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