Fishing for Invasive Crayfish: Using Mathematical Modeling to Tip the Scales for Endangered California Species

Start: 05/02/2018 - 4:15pm
End  : 05/02/2018 - 5:15pm


Courtney Davis (Pepperdine)


Santa Monica Mountain (SMM) streams are home to endangered steelhead and rainbow trout (Onchorynchus mykiss) as well as the California newt (Taricha torosa), a species of special concern in California.  California’s historically severe drought as well as stream invasion by nonnative crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) that prey upon eggs and aquatic young have decimated reproduction of native species.  This has led to localized trout and newt extinctions in multiple SMM streams.  Restorative measures are currently underway in some SMM streams to remove crayfish through trapping or manual removal in order to prevent or slow the decline of native species.


In collaboration with undergraduate students and field biologists, we have created discrete stage-structured models of newt and of trout life history dynamics in SMM streams. With each, we incorporate a model of invasive crayfish trapping and use numerical simulations and sensitivity analysis to investigate which crayfish removal regimes most benefit persistence of these native species in SMM streams.  Model results inform invasive crayfish removal efforts and aid conservation planning for these imperiled native species.

Freeberg Forum, LC 62, Kravis Center, CMC

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