Claws on the Line

Burrowing crayfish chimneys, and a Central North burrowing crayfish. More info in Claws on the Line FAQs

is a citizen science survey to monitor the Central North burrowing crayfish.

You can see the mud ‘chimneys’ of other burrowing crayfish across Tasmania, but the highly threatened Central North burrowing crayfish exists only around Devonport, Latrobe and Port Sorell – between the Don River, Narawntapu and Sheffield. The small, isolated and fragmented populations found so far cover a total area of less than 100 ha.

Claws on the Line has been trialled, and now (November 2019) is about to be fully launched – by the Bookend Trust through NatureTrackers and Expedition Class. The aim is to obtain:

  • A detailed map of areas where Central North burrowing crayfish definitely are and definitely aren’t – together with a decreasing set of areas where we don’t yet have this information.
  • An approximate but still meaningful population estimate of how many Central North burrowing crayfish there are in the world.

This information will help confirm details of the species’ threatened status (currently Endangered on the state and federal lists; Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List), and also set a baseline for its conservation. Over time, we can monitor whether we are succeeding in protecting the species and helping it recover, or whether its distribution and numbers are continuing to decrease.

Interested? If you live in central north Tasmania, join us for the launch of the project at the Don Reserve Extinction Matters BioBlitz – 5 pm, 8th November 2019 (click on Register on the EventBrite page and look for ‘Launch…’ – you may see some other activities of interest too!). After this date, many more details will be available via the main NatureTrackers website and also the Facebook page (link below). Additional Expedition Class components, tailored for schools, will also become available in the coming months.

Claws on the Line FAQs


Media on Claws on the Line trials

First pilot program, with Nixon Street Primary School:

In December 2017, with Hillcrest, Our Lady of Lourdes and the community: