Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Mississippi
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Mississippi Project

Using conservation genomics, morphometrics, and occupancy modeling to support Species Status Assessments of rivulet crayfishes (Hobbseus spp.)

August 2021 - September 2025


Participating Agencies

  • US Fish and Wildlife Service

Mississippi supports one of the highest concentrations of crayfish biodiversity on Earth (65 species native to MS). Four of these species have been petitioned for review under the Endangered Species Act, but these species’ taxonomy is unresolved, and there is limited information on their distributions and abundance. We will conduct a range-wide survey of these crayfishes throughout eastern Mississippi while collecting genetic and morphological data to help resolve species distributions and taxonomy. This research is highly collaborative and involves the USGS Mississippi Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Mississippi State University, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, and University of Mississippi. By clarifying the species’ taxonomy and distributions, this project will help the USFWS determine the condition of these crayfish species before their official review in 2024.