White-clawed crayfish succumb to plague in north Tipperary

This is the fourth confirmed outbreak of crayfish plague since 2015

The white-clawed crayfish is a globally threatened species and Ireland holds one of the largest surviving populations. Photograph: Ragnar Schmuck

The white-clawed crayfish is a globally threatened species and Ireland holds one of the largest surviving populations. Photograph: Ragnar Schmuck

 

An outbreak of crayfish plague has been confirmed on the Lorrha river in north Tipperary. Dead freshwater crayfish were reported on the river in Lorrha village earlier this month, and DNA analysis has confirmed the cause of death was crayfish plague.

This is the fourth confirmed outbreak of crayfish plague since 2015. The earlier outbreaks affected the Bruskey/Erne river in Co Cavan; the Suir, downstream of Clonmel; and the Deel, downstream of Newcastle West in Co Limerick.

An investigation is being carried out by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Inland Fisheries Ireland, the Marine Institute and Tipperary County Council.

The kill has affected white-clawed crayfish only. Other freshwater animals are not affected. There is no indication at this stage how the disease reached the Lorrha river.