Exotics

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Exotics

Governments, and water and site managers are apprehensive of exotics, as these may harm indigenous plants and animals and dismantle expensive measures for nature conservation and clean water.

Scientists from Wageningen are identifying the risks posed by exotic species and make recommendations for preventative measures. They are also developing smart detection methods based on DNA in faeces, mucus or skin cells. This helps to easily trace the red swamp crayfish which is interfering with the reproductive cycles of indigenous amphibians and fish and endangering the protected European crayfish. This is how Wageningen UR helps to improve the quality of life.

The red swamp crayfish eats the eggs laid by amphibians and fish and also eats aquatic plants on which species such as the pike, the European weather loach and common rudd lay their eggs. The red swamp crayfish is also a carrier of a disease against which the European crayfish has no resistance.
Fabrice Ottburg