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Dorset Cray Fish Hit By Deadly Plague

White-clawed Crayfish

7:32am 28th September 2014

A deadly crayfish plague has been found in a Dorset river.

So far over 100 white clawed cray fish have died in the River Allen in Wimborne - which is one of three rivers in Dorset where the native species is found.

The plague's come after the introduction of the non-native American Signal crayfish who carry the disease.

Dorset Wildlife Trust have now launched an appeal to raise £33,000 to stop the white claw cray fish from dying out altogether.

DWT's Conservation Officer, Amanda Broom, said "We were very disappointed to find dead White-clawed crayfish on the River Allen, which is a result of the thoughtless introduction of non-native species.   DWT wants to avoid white-clawed crayfish from being lost altogether from the river by raising £33,000 to protect the surviving native crayfish.  The money will be used to bolster our crayfish river restoration work here and on other Dorset rivers that will benefit white-clawed crayfish and other river wildlife for years to come."    

DWT will also encourage river users to adhere to the 'Check, Clean, Dry' biosecurity procedures that help prevent the spread of the disease, by checking equipment and clothing when leaving the river, cleaning and washing all equipment, clothing and foot wear and drying thoroughly to prevent spores from surviving.

To donate online, visit www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/crayfish. 100% of the donation will be used for crayfish conservation and crayfish river restoration work in Dorset.  You can also donate directly by texting: CLAW14 (£ donation amount) to 70070.

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