control of invasive species in Arizona’s ponds and streams

Aquatic habitats in the arid Southwest are critical refugia for native biodiversity, but are threatened by both increasing drought due to climate change and widespread invasive species

Introduced bullfrogs, fish, and crayfish fundamentally alter pond ecosystems and reduce or eliminate native species. As omnivores, crayfish predate on native invertebrate species while simultaneously removing the aquatic vegetation where these species hide from predators. Crayfish can also easily disperse to adjacent aquatic habitats. To explore environmentally responsible methods of controlling crayfish in the ponds and streams of Arizona, we are collaborating with USGS biologists David Ward and Charles Drost, as well as biologists at the US Forest Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

With funding from the USFWS, we are recruiting a fully-funded Master’s student (tuition, insurance, and stipend for 2 years) to investigate crayfish control methods starting in Fall 2021. Please get in touch if you are interested! The selected student will join the Environmental Sciences & Policy MS program at NAU. The application deadline is January 15, 2021, but we are looking to talk with applicants about interests and project objectives as early as possible.

Abundant crayfish in a single seine haul at Deer Tank (photo: Kaitlin Haase)