The giant freshwater crayfish is the largest freshwater crustacean in the world and is only found in Northern Tasmania.
The species (Astacopsis gouldi) is sadly under threat, with populations in the north-east suffering the largest declines.
Protected by state and national threatened species laws, these crayfish face multiple threats, such as climate change, drought, and poaching.
Threats such as habitat loss, habitat disturbance, and sediment accumulation in waterways can, however, be mitigated by improving waterway health.
NRM North biodiversity coordinator Lauren Bird is working with landholders in the North-East to improve river management.
In other news:
"Improving waterway health goes hand-in-hand with improving giant freshwater crayfish populations. It is also a practical and straightforward approach that can improve its survival," Ms Bird said.
Through the project, both large and small landholders in the upper Pipers, Brid and Boobyalla catchments are involved in many practical activities including fencing livestock out of waterways, controlling riverbank weeds, establishing native vegetation on riverbanks, and installing off-stream water sources for stock.
"While vegetation is incredibly important to the health of the crayfish, so is reducing sediment accumulation in waterways. Sediment may come from upstream stock access, paddock runoff and riverbank erosion," Ms Bird said.
Thankfully, the message is getting out to farmers, helped by events such as the DairyTas Clean Rivers Roadshow in December.
Supported by NRM North, the roadshow will promote farm management practices that have positive biodiversity outcomes.
It will be a great social occasion too, with on-farm demonstrations, river fencing and revegetation tips, effluent management, dung beetle information - and a very special appearance by a live giant freshwater crayfish.
Event organiser Dr Rachel Brown said that Clean Rivers Roadshow days would be a great opportunity for farmers to catch up in person.
"We've missed out on the social side of field days this year. There will also be some really interesting discussion about some topical issues for farmers who are wanting to look after their rivers and soils," Dr Brown said.
Registration is essential for the Clean Rivers Roadshow with three events across the North, North-West and North-East from December 1-3.
- For more information on the Roadshow and the Giant, Freshwater Crayfish Project, visit www.nrmnorth.org.au.