One of the worst chapters of the global extinction crisis is playing out in America’s Southeast, a region that rivals the rainforests with its staggering array of aquatic biodiversity.
Two imperiled crayfish will have more protected habitat in Appalachian streams if a plan by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is approved. The agency is taking public comment now.
The temperate forests of central and southern Appalachia are home to thousands of species of plants and animals, many of which are found nowhere else on earth. But climate change, pollution and loss of habitat are putting many of these creatures at risk of extinction.
There are more than 300 different species of crayfish in the southeastern United States, and two West Virginia species of these adaptable freshwater crustaceans may be declared federally endangered.