Another Migrant Threat to Britain
Everyone knows how immigrant grey squirrels have had a devastating impact on our much-loved native red squirrels. But other native British wildlife species are now threatened by a new invasive species.
Mitten crabs, which first appeared in the UK in 1935, have recently been seen scuttling around London and Cambridgeshire, including at a park in the south-west of the capital, a dyke in Whittlesey and a country park in Peterborough.
The species – named after its furry claws - is thought to have travelled from eastern China to Europe and north America in the sediment found on the bottom of ships' ballast tanks.
The crab can be identified by its grey-green to dark brown body and dense brown 'fur' on their white-tipped claws.
When asked if the Chinese mitten crabs threaten our native species, wildlife expert Dr Paul Clark said: 'Yes, they're eating us out of house and home.'
'We were very concerned because we think they eat fish eggs. We fed them some fish eggs and they devoured everything."
The one good thing about Chinese mitten crabs is that while very few native British animals eat them, we can. Which is more than can be said for some of the other invaders currently wrecking Britain!
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