Freshwater crayfish distribution update and maps for Greece: Combining literature and citizen-science data

Costas Perdikaris, Evangelos Konstantinidis, Christos Georgiadis, Antonín Kouba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Crayfish are charismatic creatures of high interest to humans, among others playing key roles in freshwater ecosystems. Considering the significance of indigenous crayfish species (ICS) as well as the risks posed by non-indigenous crayfish species (NICS) that may dissemite a crayfish plague pathogen Aphanomyces astaci, astacological research has advanced particularly in Europe. In this context, crayfish distribution patterns are of fundamental importance. Focused on all crayfish established in the Greek wild, we provide an updated distribution and maps, combining extensive review of existing literature as well as newly emerging sources, largely represented by increasingly important citizen-science data. Obtained results demonstrate that ICS, mainly the Astacus astacus and Austropotamobius torrentium, remain relatively well settled in the country. The last ICS, Astacus leptodactylus, was translocated in few places outside its native range, leading to the formation of new flourishing populations and at least in one case it sustains commercial exploitation. Concerning NICS, a single population of Pacifastacus leniusculus is also established in the artificial lake Agra (Region of Central Macedonia) and keeps spreading. Unfortunately, there are only few methods under a very narrow range of conditions making successful eradication of unwanted NICS populations feasible. This option is even more difficult as this population is commercially exploited and traded. Since further potentially problematic NICS are also pet-traded in the country, educating public and communicating highlighted issues are the most effective ways limiting their releases and consecutive establishment in the wild.

Original languageEnglish
Article number51
JournalKnowledge and Management of Aquatic Ecosystems
Issue number418
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Astacidae
  • Astacidae
  • Biogeography
  • Biogéographie
  • Cartographie
  • Espèces envahissantes
  • Espèces indigènes
  • Indigenous species
  • Invasive species
  • Mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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