“One can only lay 300 eggs”

The Neotropic Foundation continued this Thursday withdrawing from García Sanabria park from Santa Cruz de Tenerife new copies of the Procambarus fallax virginalisa River crab originally from the United States that was detected for the first time in this enclave last weekend. It is a invasive alien species that reproduces very easily, which caused Last Monday almost 300 specimens were removed from the frog pond. This Thursday, the number rose to about 66.

“We went prospecting for the second time and the captures made have nothing to do with those of the first day, although that does not mean that we have finished with everyone,” the Foundation explains to this newspaper. They are in charge of the removal of this species because they are specialized in exotic fauna (they are the only center of this type in the Canary Islands). The work is being carried out in collaboration with the Parks and Gardens staff of the Santa Cruz de Tenerife City Council.

The crayfish did not appear there by chance: “Its presence is related to someone releasing it. It is a species that for many years has been sold as an aquarium species, in a playful way,” he states. The luck within the bad thing, he adds, is that “it is not a natural space, it is a place surrounded by streets around it and these are not animals that can escape from that area by their own methods.”

The task of killing all the crabs is not at all easy. All specimens of this animal are female, which means they reproduce quickly as they do not need the intervention of a male. “Even if there is only one or two specimens left, each female can lay an average of 300 eggs. We could have a lot again because we are talking about that even if 1% of the population remained, it could be regenerated 100%,” he says.

The planned work will continue with the emptying of a small pond located in the park. “Now it is only planned to empty that pond, let it dry for a few days and in a month do a new survey to see how the situation is,” he explains.

If crabs appear again, everything should be emptied again and some type of more drastic treatment applied. “We are going to try to ensure that this manual action has definitive results,” he concludes.

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