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Endangered Australian Species: Hairy Marron

Endangered Australian Species: Hairy Marron

Many Western Australians are marroning in their childhood. The tail meat is a delicacy prized by commercial and recreational fishers alike. Marron enjoy trendy, well-oxygenated durable water. Unlike a number of other Australian freshwater crayfish, they’re poor burrowers.

In 2002, marron were formally split into two species according to genetics. The Smooth Marron, Cherax cainii has been given a brand new name, along with the Hairy Marron, Cherax tenuimanus kept the name.

The Smooth Marron is prevalent and the most well known. In contrast, the Hairy Marron is confined to the Margaret River. The Hairy Marron is aptly named because of its tufts of hair-like setae which cover its own shell.


Hairy Marron are regrettably declining rapidly in their own normal habitat, largely as a result of competition with Smooth Marron that invaded the Margaret River a while during the early 1980s.

Crayfish geneticist Chris Austin sampled sites in the Margaret River and discovered Smooth Marron for the very first time in 1985. By 1998 there weren’t any Hairy Marron. It’s not understood how Smooth Marron invaded the Margaret River, but translocation by people seems likely.

The Hairy Marron has become practically absent in the lower reaches of this river downstream of Margaret River township, entirely absent in the centre reaches farmland, and present in pools of their upper reaches relatively undisturbed woodland. It had been estimated in 2004 less than 10,000 people were abandoned in the wild.

Therefore, the Hairy Marron was recorded as fauna which is rare or is very likely to become extinct under State laws, and”critically endangered on both the national and IUCN lists.


Hazards into the Hairy Marron comprise changes to habitat, both of the lake and surrounding property. The region is a popular tourist destination and wine growing region. Illegal fishing remains a issue. However the most critical threat right now is that the existence of this Smooth Marron.

The biological and environmental differences between both marrons are subtle and not fully understood. Maybe 10 percent or even more of the rest of the inhabitants of Hairy Marron are scrapped.

Evidence is emerging that the time of the reproductive system differs between the species. Female Smooth Marron spawn at least a month before Hairy Marron, providing the young crayfish that a headstart.


The Western Australian Department of Fisheries directs the recovery group to the Hairy Marron that was set in 2005.

The Department includes a captive people to present hereditary brood stock, but there’s a high percentage of hybrid creatures within this population. It’s also an issue with crayfish conservation in different areas of earth.

Recreational fishing for marron at the upper reaches is prohibited, though enforcement is tough due to the remoteness of the habitat.

These projects are united with routine fish workouts of Smooth Marron at the upper reaches, directed by fisheries employees and often between the neighborhood, like the Cape to Cape Catchments Group.

Though some hybrids are most likely to be returned into the river through those fish workouts, most hybrids seem like Smooth Marron, therefore it’s unlikely pristine hairies will probably be captured unintentionally.

No research was undertaken of the effectiveness of these fish workouts, however at this point it seems they have just slowed the decrease of their Hairy Marron.


Quite a few Australian freshwater crayfish species are under threat (see Spiny and freshwater crayfish), including three species of burrowing crayfish endemic to the south-west.

No matter how the Hairy Marron is the sole Australian freshwater crayfish thus much known to be jeopardized by invasion. The plight of this Hairy Marron highlights the possible threat of translocating fauna and flora. How often has that happened, and led to extinctions with no knowledge.

The greatest goal of conservation for endangered species would be to regain population numbers and eliminate threats. This still seems far off to the marron that will also need to manage the drying climate in the area.

It’s therefore entirely unclear if the Hairy Marron, just recognized as a species per decade ago, will nevertheless be seen in its natural surroundings in a different decade.

The rate with which this species has diminished is very alarming and, up to now, there’s hardly any proof of any healing. At best the Hairy Marron is hanging on.