The conservation concern of Faxonius sp. (Decapoda: Cambaridae) from the Lower Tennessee-Beech subbasin.

Emmy M Delekta, Zachary J Loughman, Bronwyn W Williams


Crayfishes are among the most imperiled freshwater taxa in North America with nearly 50% of US species at some level of conservation concern. The southern Appalachian Mountains of the US are home to the greatest crayfish diversity in the world. In the fall of 2019, the West Liberty University Crayfish Conservation Laboratory conducted surveys in the Lower Tennessee-Beech subbasin. Within the Indian Creek watershed, Faxonius sp. was found which we believe is an evolutionary significant unit (ESU) based on genetic and morphological data. Data is currently being compiled and analyzed with NatureServe’s Conservation Rank Calculator to determine the degree of imperilment of Faxonius sp. However, field surveys of the Indian Creek watershed and surrounding areas indicate Faxonius sp. has a narrow range and is not locally abundant. We believe that habitat competition from F. compressus and F. durelli has forced Faxonius sp. into headwaters of the Indian Creek watershed. Thus, Faxonius sp. is a punitive taxon in need of immediate conservation attention.


Crayfish; Conservation

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