It’s a great day for crayfish biologists, and a great day for all conservation minded individuals as well! The United States Fish and Wildlife Service held a press release on April 6, 2016, stating that two species of crayfish continuing to survive in the coalfields of West Virginia, Virginia, and Kentucky are being granted federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.
West Liberty University has played a pivotal role in this decision by collecting and analyzing water quality, habitat availability, and crayfish presence and abundance data for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service at well over 100 locations across the possible range of these animals. We are confident in our findings and fully support the decisions of the USFWS.
Cambarus veteranus has been listed as endangered, and Cambarus callainus has been listed as threatened.
We would also like to thank our many collaborators, student researchers, and fellow crayfish researchers throughout the country who have worked to further the argument that these animals deserve protection. To everyone involved or supportive of this effort, thank you for your time and dedication to preserving the irreplaceable biodiversity of our Appalachian Mountains.
To all agencies involved with this process, thank you. West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
For further reading please see the attached link leading to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website: