Cambarus pristinus - Hobbs, 1965
Pristine Crayfish
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Cambarus pristinus Hobbs, 1965 (TSN 97395)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.119524
Element Code: ICMAL07690
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Crustaceans - Crayfishes
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Crustacea Malacostraca Decapoda Cambaridae Cambarus
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Hobbs, H.H., Jr. 1989. An illustrated checklist of the American crayfishes (Decapoda: Astacidae, Cambaridae, and Parastacidae). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 480:1-236.
Concept Reference Code: B89HOB01EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Cambarus pristinus
Taxonomic Comments: Monotypic subgenus (Veticambarus) is phylogenetically significant.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 12May2010
Global Status Last Changed: 13Sep2006
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: This species has recently been discovered in several additional localities (approximately 15 newly discovered since 2004) and is now known from 19 streams in Cumberland, Van Buren, White and Bledsoe Cos., Tennessee for a total area of less than 4000 sq. km. It appears to be holding its own with stable occurrences and no decline with only minimal threats; although occupied habitat is very small (probably <250 sq. km).
Nation: United States
National Status: N2 (13Sep2006)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Tennessee (S2)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: DD - Data deficient
American Fisheries Society Status: Endangered (01Aug2007)

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 1000-5000 square km (about 400-2000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: This species maintains a spotty distribution within the upper tributaries of the Caney Fork River drainage, Cumberland Co. (also recently Bledsoe, White and Van Buren Cos.), Tennessee (Rohrbach and Withers, 2006).

Area of Occupancy: 126-2,500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Number of Occurrences Comments: In the Cumberland Plateau, it occurs in the Caney Fork River system where it is uncommon (Bouchard, 1974). In Tennessee it occured in the Cumberland Plateau province in tributaries of the upper Caney Fork River system in Cumberland and Bledsoe Cos., and Sequatchie River system in Sequatchie Co. (Williams and Bivens, 2001). This species has recently been discovered in several additional localities (approximately 15 newly discovered since 2004) and is now known from 19 streams in the Upper Caney Fork River system in Cumberland, Van Buren, White and Bledsoe Cos., Tennessee (Rohrbach and Withers, 2006; Withers and McCoy, 2005).

Population Size: Unknown
Population Size Comments: There is insufficient population data available for this species.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Very few (1-3)
Viability/Integrity Comments: One small segment of Oldfield Branch within Bledsoe State Forest was inhabited by this species and other streams within the forest are expected to support the species but currently this is the only locality on public land. Sites of particular abundance include Puncheoncamp Creek, Laurel Creek, Jumping Branch, and West Fork Creek (Withers and McCoy, 2005; Rohrbach and Withers, 2006). The Fall Creek Falls State Park record is now considered historical (Rohrbach and Withers, 2006).

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Rohrbach and Withers (2006) report that economic development pressures on this species throughout its range appear to be minimal and that the primary threat comes from siltation associated with silvicultural and agricultural practices. Proper bank management practices and erosion control measures should alleviate these threats. Withers and McCoy (2005) cite siltation associated with poor silviculture practices as the primary threat with residential development pressure as minimal.

Short-term Trend: Increase of >10%
Short-term Trend Comments: Recently several new localities discovered (Rohrbach and Withers, 2006; Withers and McCoy, 2005). The Fall Creek Falls State Park record is now considered historical (Rohrbach and Withers, 2006).

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Unknown

Environmental Specificity: Unknown

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Nearly all publicly accessible stream crossings within the probable range have now been sampled. Suggest expandion into private land surveys including Puncheoncamp Creek, Laruel Creek, Little Cane Creek, Spring Creek, Beam Creek, Potts Creek, and Hughes Creek watersheds; also recheck Polly Branch on Centennial Wilderness along with Big Laurel and Little Laurel Creeks. Surveys outside the range of the species should be attempted in sandstone-dominated streams feeding the Falling Water, Calfkiller, Rocky, and Collins River systems in the Cumberland Plateau (Rohrbach and Withers, 2006).

Protection Needs: Bank management and erosion control necessary in some sites. Many sites are significantly influenced or surrounded by large tracts of corporate timerland and the TWRA is encouraged to engage landowners in measures to protect and integrity of occupied streams (Rohrbach and Withers, 2006).

Distribution
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Global Range: (1000-5000 square km (about 400-2000 square miles)) This species maintains a spotty distribution within the upper tributaries of the Caney Fork River drainage, Cumberland Co. (also recently Bledsoe, White and Van Buren Cos.), Tennessee (Rohrbach and Withers, 2006).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single state or province

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States TN

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
TN Bledsoe (47007), Cumberland (47035), Sequatchie (47153), Van Buren (47175), White (47185)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
05 Caney (05130108)+
06 Sequatchie (06020004)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: a crayfish; Cambaridae
General Description: See Rohrbach and Withers (2006).


Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, MEDIUM RIVER
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: This species is restricted to sandstone-derived streams of the Upper Caney Fork drainage of the Cumberland Plateau. It is found in small to large streams under slabrock resting on bedrock, with interspersed small rocks, cobble and sand occupying areas of 0-100% canopy cover. It is associated strongly with relatively headwater streams (Rohrbach and Withers, 2006).
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Crayfishes

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on some evidence of historical or current presence of single or multiple specimens, including live specimens or recently dead shells (i.e., soft tissue still attached without signs of external weathering or staining), at a given location with potentially recurring existence. Evidence is derived from reliable published observation or collection data; unpublished, though documented (i.e. government or agency reports, web sites, etc.) observation or collection data; or museum specimen information.
Separation Barriers: Separation barriers are based on hydrological discontinuity. Additional physical barriers, particularly for secondary and tertiary burrowers, include presence of upland habitat between water connections of a distance greater than 30 m. Migration of primary burrowers is generally not hindered by presence of upland habitat unless conditions are very xeric (dry and desert-like) (Smith, 2001).
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 2 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 2 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: Freshwater cave (troglobitic) species may occur from near entrances to very deep in cave systems. For cave species, each cave where an observation or collection was recorded (see Minimum EO Criteria, above) constitutes an element occurrence regardless of separation distance unless caves are part of a single hydrological system (see below). Occurrences are additionally separated by underground physical barriers to movement. Multiple caves within a single hydrological cave system are considered to be a single element occurrence when they are less than one km apart. Multiple caves within a single hydrological cave system are considered separate element occurrences when hydrological connections have not been determined or when separated by a distance of at least one km.
Separation Justification: Habitat for these creatures is primarily separated according to each species' burrowing ability. All crayfish are able to burrow to some extent and this ability will help determine the range of habitats in which a species can be found. Burrowing in the Astacidae is limited to streambed and bank excavation (Hobbs, 1988). The Cambaridae, as a whole are much more adept at burrowing than the Astacidae. As a result, they possess a greater habitat range than the Astacidae including dry water bodies (Hogger, 1988).

The burrowers can be classified into three categories: primary burrowers, secondary burrowers, and tertiary burrowers. Primary burrowers tend to remain in their burrows continuously and live in areas without permanent water except during breeding when they must migrate to a nearby water source (Hogger, 1988). The prairies of eastern and central Mississippi and western Alabama are an example of primary burrower habitat (Hogger, 1988). Secondary burrowers remain in burrows during dry periods but emerge when habitats are inundated seasonally. Such habitat includes lentic systems flooded periodically but dry in summer (Huner and Romaire, 1979) and permanent and temporary ponds and swamps in the southern United States. Tertiary burrowers do not burrow except during infrequent drought conditions and/or during breeding season. Both flowing and standing water can be tertiary burrower habitat.

Because primary burrowers, and to a lesser extent secondary burrowers, can occupy xeric habitats, separation barriers for such species do not include presence of upland habitat except in extremely dry conditions. Survival during dry periods, particularly for secondary burrowers, is dependent upon construction of a burrow regardless of season. Several different types have been described (Smith, 2001) depending on species, soil, and depth of water table.

Published information about movement in relation to migration distance is lacking but Cooper (1998, personal communication) and Fitzpatrick (1998, personal communication) both recommend a separation distance of one km between element occurrences. Dispersal patterns are best known for invasive species which likely have the greatest dispersal capability, therefore, separation distances have been determined for all crayfish based on these studies. Guan and Wiles (1997) provided evidence from the River Great Ouse in the United Kingdom that the range of movement for the majority of the invasive Pacifastacus leniusculus was within 190 m. Bubb et al. (2004) also studied P. leniusculus in England using radio-tagging and found median maximal upstream and downstream movement distances were 13.5 m (range 0-283 m) and 15 m (range 0-417 m), respectively. Barbaresi et al. (2004) found that ranging speed in the invasive crayfish Procambarus clarkii (Girard) to be slow (0.3 to 76.5 m/day) with the widest ranging individual traveling 304 m. Lewis and Horton (1996) found that 21% of tagged Pacifastacus leniusculus in an Oregon harvest pond moved >1000 m in one year while the majority moved <500 m. As such minimum separation distance (unsuitable and suitable) has been set at the NatureServe standard minimum of two km.

Exposed pools and streams in caves represent "karst windows" into more extensive underground streams. No information on the distance cave crayfish can disperse in underground streams is yet available.

Date: 18Oct2004
Author: Cordeiro, J.
Notes: Primary burrowers include the following taxa: Cambarus (Cambarus) carolinus, C. (C.) diogenes diogenes, C. (Depressicambarus) catagius, C. (D.) cymatilis, C. (D.) deweesae, C. (D.) harti, C. (D.) reflexus, C. (D.) pyronotus, C. (D.) striatus, C. (D.) strigosus, C. (D.) truncatus, C. (Glareocola), C. (Jugicambarus) batchi, C. (J.) carolinus, C. (J.) causeyi, C. (J.) dubius, C. (J.) gentryi, C. (J.) monongalensis, C. (J.) nodosus, C. (Lacunicambarus), C. (Tubericambarus), Distocambarus, Fallicambarus, Procambarus (Acucauda), P. (Distocambarus), P. (Girardiella) barbiger, P. (G.) cometes, P. (G.) connus, P. (G.) curdi, P. (G.) gracilis, P. (G.) hagenianus hagenianus, P. (G.) hagenianus vesticeps, P. (G.) liberorum, P. (G.) pogum, P. (Hagenides) [except P. pygmaeus]
Secondary burrowers include the following taxa: Cambarus (Cambarus) ortmanni, C. (Depressicambarus) latimanus, C. (D.) reduncus, Hobbseus, Procambarus (Cambarus) clarkii, P. (Girardiella) kensleyi, P. (G.) reimeri, P. (G.) simulans, P. (G.) steigmani, P. (G.) tulanei, P. (Hagenides) pygmaeus, P. (Leconticambarus) [excepting P. alleni and P. milleri], P. (Ortmannicus) [excepting the cave dwelling species], P. (Tenuicambarus)
Tertiary burrowers include the following taxa: Barbicambarus, Bouchardina, Cambarus (Cambarus) angularis, C. (C.) bartonii carinirostris, C. (C.) bartonii cavatus, C. (C.) howardi, C. (C.) sciotensis, C. (Depressicambarus) englishi, C. (D.) graysoni, C. (D.) halli, C. (D.) obstipus, C. (D.) sphenoides, C. (Erebicambarus) ornatus, C. (E.) rusticiformis, C. (Exilicambarus) cracens, C. (Hiaticambarus), C. (Jugicambarus) asperimanus, C. (J.) bouchardi, C. (J.) crinipes, C. (J.) distans, C. (J.) friaufi, C. (J.) obeyensis, C. (J.) parvoculus, C. (J.) unestami, C. (Puncticambarus) [excepting the cave dwelling species], C. (Veticambarus), Cambarellus, Faxonella, Orconectes [excepting the cave dwelling species], Pacifastacus, Procambarus (Capillicambarus), P. (Girardiella) ceruleus, P.

Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 12May2010
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Cordeiro, J. (2010); Fitzpatrick, J.F., Jr. (1989)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 12Sep2006
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Cordeiro, J.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Bouchard, R.W. 1974. Geography and ecology of crayfishes of the Cumberland Plateau and Cumberland Mountains, Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama. Part II. The genera Fallicambarus and Cambarus. Freshwater Crayfish 2:585-605

  • Hobbs, H.H., Jr. 1989. An illustrated checklist of the American crayfishes (Decapoda: Astacidae, Cambaridae, and Parastacidae). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 480:1-236.

  • McLaughlin, P.A., D.K. Camp, M.V. Angel, E.L. Bousfield, P. Brunel, R.C. Brusca, D. Cadien, A.C. Cohen, K. Conlan, L.G. Eldredge, D.L. Felder, J.W. Goy, T. Haney, B. Hann, R.W. Heard, E.A. Hendrycks, H.H. Hobbs III, J.R. Holsinger, B. Kensley, D.R. Laubitz, S.E. LeCroy, R. Lemaitre, R.F. Maddocks, J.W. Martin, P. Mikkelsen, E. Nelson, W.A. Newman, R.M. Overstreet, W.J. Poly, W.W. Price, J.W. Reid, A. Robertson, D.C. Rogers, A. Ross, M. Schotte, F. Schram, C. Shih, L. Watling, G.D.F. Wilson, and D.D. Turgeon. 2005. Common and scientific names of aquatic invertebrates from the United States and Canada: Crustaceans. American Fisheries Society Special Publication 31: 545 pp.

  • Rohrbach, G.M. and D.I. Withers. 2006. A status survey of the Caney Fork crayfish (Cambarus pristinus) and Hardin County crayfish (Orconectes wrighti) with notes on the Brawley's Fork crayfish (Cambarus williami). Final report contract #ID-06-08125-00 submitted to the Tennessee Natural Heritage Program, Nashville, Tennessee, 30 August 2006. 61 pp.

  • Taylor, C.A., G.A. Schuster, J.E. Cooper, R.J. DiStefano, A.G. Eversole, P. Hamr, H.H. Hobbs III, H.W. Robison, C.E. Skelton, and R.F. Thoma. 2007. A reassessment of the conservation status of crayfishes of the United States and Canada after 10+ years of increased awareness. Fisheries 32(8):371-389.

  • Williams, C.E. and R.D. Bivens. 2001. Annotated list of the crayfishes of Tennessee. Open file report (April 2001) of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Talbott, Tennessee. Available: http://www.homestead.com/twra4streams/files/Crayfish.PDF

  • Withers, D. I. and R. A. McCoy, 2005. Distributional surveys for Cambarus pristinus and Cambarus williami, two endangered crayfish in Tennessee. Final Report, TWRA Contract #ID-05-0828-00 to the Tennessee Division of Natural Heritage, Nashville, Tennessee, 15 August 2005. 57 pp.

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