Crayfish plague has been confirmed in the River Nore in Co Kilkenny, marking the eighth record in Irish rivers since 2015 — and the third detected this year alone, as TheJournal.ie reports.
Outbreaks of crayfish plague pose a significant threat to the survival of Ireland’s native white-clawed crayfish, according to the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).
Ahead of a seminar on the response to recent outbreaks earlier this summer, the NPWS appealed to all water users to take responsible action and follow guidelines under the ‘Check-Clean-Dry’ protocols.
That followed news of crayfish plague in the River Maigue near Adare in Co Limerick, which is now predicted to lose its population white-clawed crayfish, a globally endangered aquatic species.
The NPWS also revealed that non-native crayfish have been identified in the wild in Ireland for the first time, at a location not disclosed.
Brian Nelson of the NPWS said: “The discovery of the non-native crayfish species in the wild is of concern as this has never been found before in Ireland.
“Although the species is one we would not have predicted, it presents us with a greater challenge of eradicating the species.”
The keeping and importing of mon-native crayfish is now illegal, and anyone with specimens should contact the NPWS.