Santa Cruz will use eels to end the crab plague in the García Sanabria

The Santa Cruz de Tenerife City Council has decided to use copies of Anguilla anguillaor European eel, to control the plague of crayfish, Procambarus fallax virginaliswhich affects the ponds of the García Sanabria Park.

A decision that the municipal corporation has adopted after they withdrew last month 311 specimens of crayfishand after verifying that they alter the natural environment.

To control the pest, five specimens of European eel, between 35 and 40 centimeters in length, will be placed in each of the pools of the Park’s ponds.

The species of crayfish Procambarus fallax virginalis It is highly elusive, and capable of reproducing by parthenogenesis (all specimens are female and capable of generating offspring without the intervention of males), being able to produce up to 700 eggs at a time, which take between one and two months to hatch depending on the environmental temperature.

The eel eel It is a species that is found naturally in the Canary Islands, which has historically populated the ravines of the archipelago that maintained permanent water flow or pools throughout the year, according to the City Council.

Furthermore, it adds that it is not a species classified as invasive exotic according to the Spanish Catalog of Exotic Species and the list of Species of Concern for the Outermost Region of the Canary Islands.

The municipal corporation comments that the use of the eel will be in a confined place, not being able to spread by its own means, in addition to the fact that there are no native species of crayfish in the García Sanabria Park that could be affected by its presence.

The Neotropic Foundation, which is the only exotic fauna recovery center in the Canary Islands, will be in charge of controlling the experience, as well as the importation and acclimatization of the European eel specimens, for their subsequent incorporation into the ponds of Parque García. Sanabria.

In addition, surveys will be carried out quarterly that will allow evaluating the status of the populations of Procambarus fallas virginalis and Anguilla Anguillarespectively.

The mayor of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, José Manuel Bermúdez, indicated this Friday that this measure was chosen because a species that was introduced cannot be allowed to destroy the botanical garden in the García Sanabria Park; a space, the mayor indicated, “that must be carefully protected and cared for, since it is part of our heritage, with highly valuable native species.”

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