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Breeding boost for Hampshire crayfish
A DRIVE to boost the population of an endangered crayfish species in Hampshire has begun after conservationists took some of the rare species to safety for them to breed.
The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust has joined forces with the Bristol Conservation and Science Foundation and taken eight egg-bearing female white-clawed crayfish from the River Itchen to Bristol Zoo.
Eggs carried by the females will be hatched and reared, and they and their offspring will then be released to the wild in order to help the chances of this very rare species.
The river is home to the last remaining population of roughly 2,000 white-clawed crayfish in Hamp-shire – the only crayfish species native to the UK.
Dr Ben Rushbrook, Southern Chalkstreams project officer for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, said: “This project represents a very important step forward in increasing the likelihood of ensuring the long-term survival of this species in Hampshire.”
The species became classified as globally endangered in 2010.