Translator Disclaimer
1 January 2010 History, Status, and Conservation of Georgia Crayfishes
Christopher E. Skelton
Author Affiliations +

Georgia has historically had one of the best-known crayfish faunas in the United States, mainly due to the work of Dr. Horton H. Hobbs, Jr. In The Crayfishes of Georgia, published in 1981, Hobbs recognized 66 species and subspecies from the state, including 1 species that he hypothesized to be extinct, Procambarus (Ortmannicus) angustatus (Sandhills Crayfish). Herein I document 68 extant native species and subspecies, 1 extinct species, and 3 non-native species. Of the 68 extant native taxa, 17 (25%) are endemic to Georgia. A recent evaluation of the conservation status of United States crayfishes suggests that 6 Georgia species are endangered, 10 threatened, 7 vulnerable, and 1 extinct. The state of Georgia currently lists 7 species as endangered, 10 threatened, and 3 rare and has instituted new rules to protect crayfishes from export for the pet trade, while still permitting collection of some species for bait. Taxonomic studies continue on Georgia crayfishes, with at least 2 forms being examined as probable new species. Of the 3 non-native species now present in Georgia, Orconectes (Buannulifictus) palmeri creolanus (Creole Painted Crayfish) appears to be expanding its range, while the status of Procambarus (Scapulicambarus) clarkii (Red Swamp Crawfish) remains poorly understood. In addition to the presence of non-native taxa, threats to native Georgia crayfishes include persistent drought and land development associated with rapid human population growth.

Christopher E. Skelton "History, Status, and Conservation of Georgia Crayfishes," Southeastern Naturalist 9(sp3), 127-138, (1 January 2010).
Published: 1 January 2010

Get copyright permission
Back to Top