Cavan/Monaghan White-Clawed Crayfish Survey 2020

Client: National Parks & Wildlife Service

White-clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes) from the Blackwater (Monaghan) River, photo by John Brophy

In 2020, BEC Consultants carried out a presence/absence survey for white-clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes) in river catchments in counties Cavan and Monaghan. The most recently outbreak of crayfish plague (Aphanomyces astaci) was first noted in 2015 in the River Bruskey, Co. Cavan, a subcatchment of the Erne System. Recent data on the distribution of white-clawed crayfish in nearby river catchments were lacking and this project aimed to address that data gap. A number of sites were surveyed using hand-searching techniques on the Cavan, Annalee, Dromore, Blackwater (Monaghan) and Finn rivers, and the Mountain Water. Sixty percent of sites sampled were positive for white-clawed crayfish, and there was no evidence of crayfish plague at any of the sites. Evidence of otter activity was also recorded at a number of sample sites.