Hail the Louisiana Red Swamp crawfish, conquerer of France!
The prolific Louisiana Red Swamp crawfish, which can lay up to 750 eggs at one time and can reproduce nine months of the year, is thought to have escaped into wetland areas of France in 1976. It’s been downhill from there.
“The Louisiana crawfish eats all the aquatic plants in the marsh,” said Jean-Marc Thirion, scientific adviser to Nature Environnement 17, an environmental group based in Charente-Maritime, a department on France’s central Atlantic coast. “Without the aquatic plants, the water of the marsh is opaque and the sunlight can’t pass through,” making it difficult for aquatic life to survive.
According to Thirion, local critters have … well … surrendered to the exoskeletal American invader:
“When the Louisiana crawfish population is established after a few years in the same site, we note the extinction of amphibian species.”
Racist Eurobirds that eat the crawfish can’t cope with resultant colour issues:
Scientists in Spain have reported that astaxanthin, the reddish-orange pigment in the shell and body that gives the Louisiana crawfish its name, is turning the skin of baby white storks an orange color that could be disturbing to their parents.
One solution to the crawfish problem that Europe seems not to have considered, at least not very deeply: eat them.