Mapping the distribution of freshwater crayfish and crayfish plague in Danish freshwaters, advice and support (39770)

Project Details


The objective of the project is to perform a nationwide mapping of the distribution of freshwater crayfish and crayfish plague in Denmark, including both native and alien crayfish species. It is the first time this is done in Denmark. The results is to be used for a knowledge-based and targeted management of crayfish in Denmark.

The basic method used is analyzing environmental DNA (eDNA) from water samples collected from selected lakes and rivers throughout the country. Samples are filtered and preserved on site using a handheld peristaltic pump in accordance with a recognized protocol. Analysis of DNA etc. are performed at DTU Aqua's lab. facilities in Silkeborg.

The following species are included: native noble crayfish (Astacus astacus) and four alien species: signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus), Danube crayfish (Astacus leptodactylus), marbled crayfish (Procambarus virginalis) and red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii). The former two are known to occur in Denmark while the latter two are suspected to.

The final deliverables of the project is the data generated and a report describing methods and results from the project.
Associated with the project are two minor projects, also performed for and funded by the Danish EPA: - A literature study on methods to eradicate invasive alien freshwater crayfish (2019)- A plan for eradication of signal crayfish from the island of Bornholm, aiming at appointing the island as safe site for noble crayfish (2020)

DTU Aqua, National Institute of Aquatic Resources (coordinator)
Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Section for Fish Disease Research,  Norway (consultant)

The project is funded by The Danish Environmental Protection Agency (through an open EU tender)

Research area: Freshwater Fisheries and Ecology
Research area: Population genetics
Effective start/end date01/05/202001/12/2021


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