The UK has deployed its inaugural Chinese mitten crab trap to address the threat posed by this highly invasive species.
Named for their furry claws, mitten crabs are categorised among the top 100 worst invasive species by the Natural History Museum.
Their impact on the UK’s native fauna has led experts to express concern, stating that the crabs are consuming local wildlife excessively.
Conservationists have installed the first trap at Pode Hole in Lincolnshire, strategically positioned to intercept the crabs as they migrate downstream for mating.
The village, located at the convergence of drainage channels, has reported a specific issue with mitten crabs.
Originating from eastern China, these crabs likely reached Europe as larvae or small crabs in sediment within ships’ ballast tanks, with the first UK record traced back to Lotts Road Power Station, previously powering the London Underground.
“Between 1985 and 1990 the population suddenly exploded,” said Dr Clark, with “millions” now living in the Thames and surrounding waterways.
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