News from the Natural World: “Hands up if you’re going extinct” – a letter of distress by the White Clawed Crayfish.
The White Clawed Crayfish has launched a new campaign that is taking the animal world by storm. The movement has become quite the craze and has gone viral all across the natural world. Although it started by accident it has caught the imagination of all animals facing extinction. Wilbert the White Clawed Crayfish was asked to pose for a photo by a human conservationist and it is this image which started the movement.
The White Clawed Crayfish is the United Kingdom’s only native freshwater crayfish and is a crucial part of the freshwater world. It is also critically endangered across its entire range. There has been a 70% drop in numbers in England alone because of pollution and habitat destruction. In addition, a non-native invasive species called the Signal Crawfish was introduced which carries a lethal plague. This disease hit the White Claw Crawfish population hard.
White Clawed Crayfish on the brink
This 70% drop in numbers has decimated their population and they stood on the brink of extinction. But a group of conservationists in Bristol had been working on a hatchery for the last 10 years. They aimed to introduce the babies to safe ark sites across the south-west of England. One of these conservationists approached Wilbert to take a photo for the new campaign. Wilbert new that this was his one chance to get a message across to the human world.