News June 2024

Craywatch maps invasive non-native crayfish

In Flanders, we have seen an alarming increase in invasive non-native crayfish in recent years. These animals, including the infamous marble crayfish and the red American crayfish, are a serious threat to our aquatic ecosystems. Their behaviour leads directly and indirectly to loss of biodiversity, degradation of water quality and damage to banks and dykes.

To take effective action, we need more information on the species present and their distribution. Unfortunately, this is no easy task, which is why we need the help of citizen scientists.

Would you like to actively contribute to INBO research on invasive alien crayfish? And do you have half an hour of your time for 5 consecutive days between 15 June and 15 October? Then take part in Craywatch, the citizen science project mapping the current distribution of these exotic crayfish in Flanders

How can you help?

  • You set traps that are sent to you in one or more watercourses in your area.
  • You check the traps for crayfish over the next 4 days.
  • You note how many crayfish you catch and, using a simple guide, which species they are.
  • You take photos of the crayfish caught.
  • You will send your observations to INBO.

Want to take part? Sign up at

Wietse Chanet

Image above: marbled crayfish in the Normand Park in Middelkerke (INBO photo)

Rode Amerikaanse rivierkreeft aan Kanaal van Stekene in Stekene (foto INBO)

Red American crayfish at Stekene Canal in Stekene (photo INBO)


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