Ecological Risk Screening Summary - Rusty Crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) - High Risk

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Species that are considered high risk have a well-documented history of invasiveness in at least one location globally, and a high or medium climate match to the contiguous United States.

Establishment and impacts in the Midwest, Northeast, and few locations in Western United States are occurring. There is high risk of additional introduction, establishments and impacts in other areas throughout the United States through bait bucket introductions or range expansion. There are documented instances of O. rusticus displacing native crayfish species and lowering the abundance and diversity in aquatic vegetation and invertebrates in areas they invade. In at least some cases, ecosystems are unable to recover from the effects of O. rusticus even after its population is reduced. The species is reported to be somewhat salinity tolerant. It could impact estuarine environments. Climate match with the United States is high. Overall assessment for this species is high.

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The Fish and Aquatic Conservation program leads aquatic conservation efforts for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We are committed to tackling the nation’s highest priority aquatic conservation and recreational challenges to conserve, restore, and enhance fisheries for future generations.
Aquatic invasive species cause tremendous harm to our environment, our economy, and our health. They can drive out and eat native plants and wildlife, spread diseases, and damage infrastructure. We work to protect our waterways and the communities that depend on them from the threat of invasive...
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