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London, United Kingdom
This blog will contain pictures and information from my everyday encounters with nature in London and the surrounding areas. I will log details of the origin of each photograph thus recording what there is to be seen and where it was seen. I very much welcome anyone else who can upload photos and information about nature in London and the home counties. I work freelance in the film industry so have plenty of days off. I hope to update Monday to Friday and once on the weekend posting at around 19.30, I don't post on bank holidays

Sunday, 17 April 2011

The American Signal Crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus)

American Signal crayfish
Ware, Hertfordshire - Canal
There are few animals in Britain with a worse reputation than this crayfish. It got into the wild waterways in Britain in the 1970’s after either escaping from captivity or being released by and unknowing liberator. It has virtually extinct our native White Claw crayfish because of a fungus they carry and territorial attacks. There are thought to be many millions of them and their extreme omnivorous appetite is affecting all sorts of areas and biodiversity in Britain’s waterways. They are also known to be burrowing into riverbanks, which is causing collapse. There are lots of great ways to catch these animals and they make for a tasty meal although personally I would leave them to filter in a bucket of fresh water for a few day before cooking. Please see this link to the Telegraph which is detailed in describing the problems they have created and also this article in the Guardian which lays out a novel and eco-friendly way of catching them. The three lads in the picture we’re bating string with bacon then pulling them out with nets and may have been supplementing their pocket money by selling to local restaurants. 

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