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

Mississippi Project

Efficacy of population genetics as a tool to quantify resiliency, redundancy, and representation of burrowing crayfishes within the Species Status Assessment framework

October 2022 - September 2024


Participating Agencies

  • United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Burrowing crayfishes (including Hobbseus spp.) are among the most data- and knowledge-deficient aquatic taxonomic groups. Data-deficiency is problematic for structuring population units and Ecological Settings within SSAs, and knowledge gaps related to population connectivity undermine assumptions about population connectivity of burrowing crayfishes when estimating species Redundancy. Our goal is to examine population genetics of H. orconectoides and H. cristatus to provide a blueprint for structuring SSAs of burrowing crayfishes. This research is highly collaborative and involves the USGS North Carolina Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit and North Carolina State University, USGS Mississippi Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and Mississippi State University, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, and University of Mississippi. Knowledge gained on spatial structuring of population units and population connectivity from this project will provide a citable blueprint for calculating Resiliency, Redundancy, and Representation for SSAs of at least 23 other crayfishes.