Risk Assessments

Tricarico et al., (2010) adopted and further developed a screening tool used to assess the potential invasiveness of freshwater invertebrates. They assessed the potential invasiveness of 37 native and introduced crayfish species in Europe. Among the species with the highest potential invasiveness were three North American species: the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii), the signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus), and the spinycheek crayfish (Faxonius limosus). Faxonius limosus and P. leniusculus are not yet know from the Great Lakes Region, but P. clarkii is established in several Great Lakes states as a result of anthropogenic introductions.

Red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii)

Photographer: Andrew C

Olden et al., (2011) predicted the vulnerability of lakes and streams in Wisconsin to the introduction and establishment of invasive rusty crayfish (F. rusticus). The authors identified 115 lakes and ~5000 km of streams in Wisconsin having at least a 25% chance for the introduction and establishment of rusty crayfish and the eventual extirpation of a native congeneric crayfish. These results can aid in the identification of priority sites for prevention efforts given a maximum level of acceptable risk or budgetary or time restrictions.

Patoka et al., (2014) conducted an assessment of the invasion risk posed by the crayfish pet trade in Europe. They determined that the potential invasiveness of crayfishes native to North America was significantly higher than that of crayfishes from the rest of the world. Among the crayfish species with the highest potential invasiveness was the red swamp crayfish, a prevalent invader in the Great Lakes and surrounding areas.

Crayfish in a bucket.

Photographer: Perky

Researchers from the University of Notre Dame and Loyola University Chicago collaborated on development of a risk assessment tool and risk analysis of the over 200 world-wide crayfish species for which sufficient biological data exists. The science-based tool for assessing invasion risk (STAIR) for crayfish focuses on the ability of a species to move through the two stages of invasion—from introduced to established and from established to invasive. probabilities when available. The risk analysis results are probabilities for each of the two stages—the higher the probability, the greater the likelihood that the species will be able to become established or invasive. The Notre Dame STAIRcrayfish and the risk assessments are available here.

Red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii).

Photographer: harum.koh