Restoration ecology
Monitoring and surveys

Invasive exotic crayfish in the Netherlands

Of the eight lobster and crafish species found in the Netherlands, five occur on the European Union's list of invasive exotic species. All five species are types of American crayfish. They pose a threat to the biodiversity of our country, but Waardenburg Ecology has developed a sustainable solution.

Problems caused by crayfish

Invasive exotic species such as American crayfish do not occur naturally in the Netherlands. They have however, established themselves here and continue to spread further. This is often at the expense of native species. American crayfish cause several problems, including:
  • Damage to aquatic plants
  • High rates of plant consumption leading to cloudy water
  • Damage to flood defenses and banks due to burrowing
  • Increased amounts of dredged material due to burrowing
  • Dredged material that is difficult to process because it contains lobsters that can be spread further


Waardenburg Ecology are specialised in invasive species and have a comprehensive working knowledge on American crayfish. We conducted various studies for water authorities, such as the Delfland Water Authority, the Stichtse Rijnlanden Water Authority and the Zuiderzeeland Water Authority. In order to provide even better advice to clients, we have set up an exotic crayfish group. This group includes specialists who deal with vegetation, fish, hydrology and innovation.

A sustainable solution

Controlling American crayfish can be done in several ways. One of them is catching the animals for removal. Waardenburg Ecology has developed a system for catching more lobsters (including small ones), that requires less maintenance than other means.
A sustainable solution to the nuisance of American crayfish is a robust water system. Our specialists analyse the system and the environment and determine what options are available in the area. Changes in management can result in the crayfish ultimately no longer feel at home there.
Read more about the innovative Craybar
Nodled American crayfish