Associated Press Published

Endangered Status Proposed for Crayfish


  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed adding two crayfish species to the Endangered Species list.

The agency said Monday in a news release that the Big Sandy crayfish and the Guyandotte River crayfish are at risk of extinction.

The Guyandotte River crayfish lives at only one site in Wyoming County in West Virginia. Four populations of the Big Sandy crayfish live in the Big Sandy River watershed in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia.

Both species are threatened by activities that add excessive sediments to stream bottoms and degrade water quality.

The proposed listings are part of a 2013 settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity. The center says water pollution, primarily from coal mining, has eliminated the crayfishes from more than half of their ranges.