Priorities Action Statement - Actions for Murray Crayfish

Recovery Actions

Advice to consent and determining authorities

  • Provide information on the distribution of the Murray Crayfish to local councils and determining authorities to ensure appropriate consideration during development assessment processes (Medium priority).

Collate and review existing information

  • Compile existing information on Murray Crayfish and identify knowledge gaps for the purpose of targeting future research activities (High priority).
  • Collate data on the historical distribution of Murray Crayfish including anecdotal and indigenous knowledge (Low priority).

Community and stakeholder liaison, awareness and education

  • Install signs and/or interpretive displays at appropriate locations to assist with identification and awareness of Murray Crayfish (High priority).
  • Educate fishers about the open and closed Murray Crayfish fishing seasons and locations as well as bag and size restrictions (High priority).
  • Implement education initiatives to improve awareness of the status of the Murray Crayfish and ways to minimise impacts on the species by preparing and distributing appropriate advisory material (Medium priority).
  • Encourage community reporting of Murray Crayfish via the department Threatened and Pest Species Sightings Program online form (Low priority).
  • Foster long-term, two-way knowledge transfer and capacity building to enhance the role of indigenous ecological knowledge in the recovery of Murray Crayfish (Low priority).

Compliance / enforcement

  • Maximise compliance activities at identified important sites (High priority).

Enhance, modify or implement NRM planning processes to minimize adverse impacts on threatened species

  • Negotiate with relevant authorities to encourage the identification, assessment, and modification of natural resource management plans and policies to minimise impacts on Murray Crayfish habitats and water quality (High priority).
  • Implement relevant State policies and programs (e.g. the NSW Diffuse Source Water Pollution Strategy) in an effort to reduce water pollution (particularly chemical pollution from agricultural pesticides) impacts on Murray Crayfish habitats in NSW (Medium priority).

Habitat rehabilitation

  • Undertake work to identify, restore and protect known and potential Murray Crayfish habitats and address key threats such as habitat degradation and water quality decline (High priority).
  • Allocate and manage environmental water flows in regulated rivers to restore natural seasonal flow patterns (High priority).
  • Actively seek funds through grant schemes or other sources to implement riparian vegetation and water quality improvement projects in priority areas (High priority).
  • Undertake priority rehabilitation, restoration and enhancement work (e.g. rehabilitating riparian vegetation, cold water pollution reduction measures, reinstating large woody debris, removal of barriers to fish passage, removal of willows from riverbanks, sediment and erosion control measures) at key sites known to support Murray Crayfish populations (High priority).

Pest eradication and control

  • Investigate and implement integrated management of introduced species in and adjacent to identified Murray Crayfish habitats and take action to prevent the spread of introduced species into these habitats (High priority).

Research / monitoring

  • Conduct research on the biology and ecology of Murray Crayfish, particularly the species' ecological role, environmental tolerances, factors influencing population dynamics, age and growth, life cycle and diet (High priority).
  • Undertake research to identify, prioritise and improve understanding of the threatening processes and causes of decline of Murray Crayfish (High priority).
  • Actively seek grants or investor partnerships to fund research and monitoring programs for Murray Crayfish (High priority).
  • Monitor populations of Murray Crayfish over time to assess trends in abundance and distribution and to identify emerging threatening processes (Medium priority).
  • Actively encourage community involvement in aspects of Murray Crayfish research and monitoring programs (Low priority).
  • Undertake research into the translocation and/or captive breeding of Murray Crayfish (Low priority).
  • Obtain and analyse genetic material from remnant populations of Murray Crayfish to identify genetic units to inform conservation breeding or translocation (Low priority).

Stocking / translocation

  • Implement the NSW Freshwater Fish Stocking Fishery Management Strategy to prevent significant impacts from stocking on Murray Crayfish populations (High priority).
  • Identify potential candidate sites for possible future translocation of Murray Crayfish (Low priority).
  • Undertake emergency rescues of Murray Crayfish in response to droughts, oil spills/ pollution, detection of biosecurity threats (e.g. disease or pests), or to avoid imminent impacts in accordance with the emergency response policy (Low priority).
  • Review and assess the potential of artificial refuge areas for the protection of Murray Crayfish (Low priority).

Survey / mapping

  • Conduct targeted surveys to determine the current distribution and abundance of Murray Crayfish (High priority).
  • Collect data on the presence/absence of Murray Crayfish during incidental surveys (Medium priority).