Concurrent Session: Wetland wildlife
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM Thu
Co-authors: Thomas Anton, The Ecological Consulting Group LLC; Julia Robson, Waukesha County Department of Parks and Land Use
Title: Wetland architects: Burrowing crayfish in Wisconsin as keystone species
Abstract: We burrow into the recent discovery of Wisconsin's rarest native crayfish, the diversity of crayfish species in Wisconsin, and the ecological roles of crayfish in natural, urban, and agricultural landscapes. The newly discovered Digger Crayfish is one of only three primary burrowers in the state, which play important roles as Keystone Species in many wetland habitats. Primary burrowers are mainly terrestrial species that construct deep burrows utilized by other species such as herptiles and insects, creating drought refuges and winter denning sites essential to maintaining the native biodiversity of Wisconsin wetlands. We explore the distribution and conservation of these species and their interesting life history, survey methods, and evolving taxonomy.
Bio: Gary Casper is a wildlife researcher and conservation advocate throughout the western Great Lakes Region. He is affiliated with the UW-Milwaukee Field Station and UW-Green Bay and serves as an editor for the Natural Areas Journal and Herpetological Conservation and Biology. His latest book is a field guide to amphibian eggs and larvae.