The UK's only native species of crayfish is making a comeback in Lincolnshire thanks to efforts by the Environment Agency together with partners from Lincolnshire Chalk Streams Project, Greater Lincolnshire Nature Partnership, Lincolnshire Rivers Trust and the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.
Last year, almost 600 white-clawed crayfish were moved to protected new locations in the Lincolnshire Wolds. Now, recent river surveys have found baby white-clawed crayfish, proving that the species is now breeding again in Lincolnshire.
The release locations are known as 'Ark Sites', and are carefully selected locations which have all the characteristics needed for the crayfish to establish a thriving colony, including good-quality water, suitable habitat and an isolation location.
Most importantly, in these selected locations they are protected from their non-native counterparts, the North American signal crayfish. This invasive species out-competes our own for food and habitat, and carries a fungal disease that devastates native populations. Following its accidental release in the 1970s, our native white-clawed crayfish have been in decline ever since.