Rapid Response to Invasive Green Crab Threat

While teaching a class at the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, the reserve educator found a crab noticeably different from crabs typically seen in the area. Upon further investigation, the reserve determined it to be an invasive European Green Crab, which is classified by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as one of the world’s worst invasive species.

This find put in motion a rapid-response program between local partners that has since set out 192 traps at 31 sites in Padilla Bay to get a better idea of how many green crabs were in the bay. So far, three more crabs were found, leading partners to believe that without the early detection and efficiently executed rapid response, this situation could have been much worse. “It’s a really tragic but exciting opportunity for us to be at ground zero,” says Jude Apple, the Padilla Bay Reserve’s research coordinator. “We are set up to monitor and investigate a potential invasion.” (2016)

More Information: kiro7.com/news/local/invasive-green-crabs-found-in-puget-sound/453005143

Partners: Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington Sea Grant