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Crayfish arts: an evaluation into the efficacy of artificial refuge traps for monitoring lotic white-clawed crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes (Lereboullet, 1858) (Decapoda, Astacidae) populations

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White-clawed crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes (Lereboullet, 1858) are one of five crayfish species indigenous to Europe, and the only crayfish species to occur in Ireland. With no known invasive species posing a risk, the Irish population is of considerable conservation importance, particularly in a European context. While there are a number of capture techniques described for crayfish population studies, many have a number of limitations associated with them. There is a need therefore to evaluate new and emerging techniques, so as to assess their efficacy for monitoring A. pallipes populations. Artificial refuge traps (ARTs), an alternative passive capture method, were evaluated against three other widely used capture techniques during the summer months of 2015. Results indicate ARTs to be an effective technique for sampling crayfish, and suggest that, in combination with other capture methods, ARTs could depict accurate population structures, and reduce some of the sampling effort and bias associated with crayfish monitoring.

Affiliations: 1: 1School of Biology and Environmental Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland ; 2: 2Marine and Freshwater Research Centre, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Dublin Road, Galway, Ireland

3Corresponding author; e-mail:

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