Invasive species of both plants and animals are a nuisance in many areas, but in Southern California, with its limited natural water sources, invasive species of crayfish are threatening the very existence of native species of frogs, fish and toads. Marine biologist Kyle Troy and a team of volunteers are helping the department of fish and game tackle the issue:
When it comes to the nonnative 3-inch-long crayfish that has colonized and multiplied in the 109-square-mile Malibu Creek watershed over the last century, the 29-year-old biologist with the nonprofit Mountains Restoration Trust is merciless.
With a $600,000-grant from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Troy and a small army of volunteer students from local schools aim to eliminate crayfish from the Santa Monica Mountains’ streams and rivers — within three years.
This is an almost Sisyphean task. But it is an important part of an ongoing effort to transform the watershed’s ecological system into a more natural state, one that may eventually allow endangered steelhead to make their way back to historic spawning grounds.
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