Understanding the habitat associations and distributions of rare species is important to inform management and policy decisions. Cambarus (Erebicambarus) maculatus Hobbs & Pflieger, 1988, the freckled crayfish, and Faxonius (Billecambarus) harrisonii (Faxon, 1884), the belted crayfish, are two of Missouri’s endemic crayfish species. Both species are listed as Vulnerable (S3) on Missouri’s Species and Communities of Conservation Concern Checklist due to their limited range within the Meramec River drainage (MRD) and the impact of anthropogenic activities therein. Their distributional overlap offers an opportunity for multi-species research to address gaps in information required for conservation. We sampled 140 sites throughout the MRD during the summers of 2017 and 2018 for crayfishes and associated habitat variables, which we related to crayfish presence in an occupancy modeling framework. We found that C. maculatus occupancy was associated with larger stream size, boulder substrate, dolomite lithology, aquatic vegetation beds, dissolved oxygen, and pool mesohabitat. Faxonius harrisonii occupancy increased with boulder substrate, aquatic vegetation beds, the presence of C. maculatus, and decreased in third-order streams. We also expanded the known range for both species within the MRD. Range estimates (watershed area) for C. maculatus and F. harrisonii were 4,347 km2 and 3,690 km2, respectively. This study demonstrates the importance of targeted rather than opportunistic sampling for species distribution.
|Title||Habitat associations and distributions of two endemic crayfishes, Cambarus (Erebicambarus) maculatus Hobbs & Pflieger, 1988 and Faxonius (Billecambarus) harrisonii (Faxon, 1884) (Decapoda: Astacoidea: Cambaridae), in the Meramec River drainage, Missouri,|
|Authors||J. Chilton, Amanda E. Rosenberger, Robert J. DiStefano|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Coop Res Unit Atlanta|