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Yankee ‘invaders’ threaten UK’s crayfish

Better resistance to parasites and a less fussy diet are allowing aggressive signal crayfish from the US to threaten white-clawed crayfish native to Yorkshire.

The Yorkshire crayfish suffers from two parasites: plague, which is carried by the American invader, and porcelain disease that makes it sluggish and suppresses its appetite before eventually killing it a few years later.

Yorkshire is one of the last strongholds of the white-clawed crayfish, which is being driven out of Britain’s waterways by its hardier American cousin, introduced to Britain in the 1970s for fish farming.

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