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A crayfish, a snail, a fish and two plants land on "least wanted" list

May 8, 2018

There are five new invasive species on the “least wanted list.”

That’s a list the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers puts together. The leaders of the eight states and two provinces on the Lakes decide which species pose the highest risk.

Sarah LaSage is with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and she serves on an invasive species task force for the governors' group. She says the new species include tench (a fish), the New Zealand mud snail, and two plants (European frogbit and yellow floating heart) that are already in the Great Lakes basin, and a crayfish called Marmorkreb.

“It’s a crayfish that resulted from a genetic mutation that makes it possible for the crayfish to clone itself. Like New Zealand mud snails, it’s a clonal organism that’s made of females, so you can essentially start a new population with just one individual,” says LaSage.

LaSage says the crayfish is not in the basin yet. 

She says there are now 21 species on the least wanted list (you can see the other 16 here). She says the list helps the states and provinces coordinate their regulations to try to keep the invaders in check.