The Maleny hairy crayfish is a particularly vulnerable species due to its extremely restricted range. Localised threats, such as bush fires, poor forest management practices, habitat destruction and over-exploitation by collectors are all known to negatively impact this species’ population. Disturbance to stream banks and burrows, water pollution and urban development are also important threats to this species (5).
Additionally, introduced species such as the cane toad (Bufo marinus), as well as cats, foxes, pigs and goats, have all been found to affect crayfish populations (1) (2). Feral pigs in particular are known to affect the Maleny hairy crayfish, by rooting and destroying burrows throughout its range (4).
Climate change is also likely to pose a major threat to the Maleny hairy crayfish (1) (2) (9), with increasing temperatures, decreased rainfall, which will alter hydrological regimes, severe weather events and loss of suitable highland habitat all likely to impact heavily on this threatened freshwater crayfish. This species has a limited thermal tolerance and, consequently, is restricted to cool headwater streams in forested catchment areas. Therefore, increasing temperatures are likely to result in further range contraction of this species (1) (2).
Illegal recreational fishing is a further danger to the Maleny hairy crayfish (2), and this species may also be confused with several other crayfish in the genus Cherax, and so may also be accidentally taken by fishers (1) (2).