The Mount Glorious Spiny Crayfish may be small in size and population, but according to USC crustacean expert Dr Tomer Ventura they play a big role in supporting a healthy ecosystem.
Ahead of World Environment Day (June 5), Dr Ventura will deliver a special presentation on the highly threatened priority species on Sunday 2 June as part of the Moreton Bay Regional Council’s free Wild About Wildlife workshop series.
The workshop will be at the Mount Glorious Community Hall from 9 to 11.30am and will include a guided walk through the some of the crayfish’s habitat.
“Australia is blessed to be a hot spot for crustaceans but unfortunately the vast majority are either endangered or highly threatened like the Mountain Glorious Spiny Crayfish,” Dr Ventura said.
“Crayfish are essential to healthy water ecosystems and support strong biodiversity, so it’s really important for people to realise that the loss of just one key species from one ecosystem can heavily impact the entire ecosystem.”
The Mount Glorious Spiny Crayfish is native to the Moreton Bay region and is found solely in the headwater tributaries of the Pine River.
“When these mountain ranges were forming, the ecosystems developed within them were completely locked in,” Dr Ventura said.
“This means the species that established themselves there are rarely found anywhere other than strictly within the mountain catchment areas, which lends itself to making it easier for local citizen scientists to identify particular crayfish.”
As part of the Wild About Wildlife workshop, Dr Ventura will highlight the features of the Spiny Crayfish and its preferred habitat, to help locals with community monitoring.
“Increasing the awareness and education of these precious species is key to ensuring that our rich local environment is protected for future generations,” he said.
For more details about the workshop visit www.moretonbay.qld.gov.au/Events/Spiny-Crayfish