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We need YOU to help raise £20,000 for a new species at the zoo

April 19, 2024

We’ve launched an appeal to raise £20,000 to help save one of the UK’s most endangered native species, the white-clawed crayfish by opening a breeding centre at the zoo.

We’re taking part in the Big Give’s Green Match Fund and for one week only all donations will be doubled. From midday today (18 April) until midday next Thursday (25 April), every donation made will be matched by Big Give Champion Funder – The Postcode Green Trust. So, donate this week to make your donation have double the impact!

Donations must be made via The Big Give’s website here.

White-clawed crayfish are incredibly important to chalk streams, like the two right on Marwell’s doorstep in Hampshire – the River Itchen and River Test. Although, their population has drastically declined since the 1970s as a result of habitat loss, pollution, disease and invasive species so, we need to act now.

In the wild, the species acts as an important “clean-up crew” and food source for animals, including swans and otters who build their homes on these important waterways. Without them, the delicate natural balance could be under threat.  

With your help, we will open the brand-new breeding centre at the zoo. Using the organisation’s expertise in animal welfare, husbandry, and conservation science, the teams will rear and care for the species prior to their release in Hampshire.

Guests at the zoo will be able to visit the centre and see first-hand the exciting project that they funded come to life. Inside the centre, there will be opportunities to see the crayfish up close, observe the team’s work, and learn all about this small but mighty species.

We’re are taking an active role in supporting the survival of this species in Hampshire, but they can’t do it without you.

Dr Will Justice, Director of Animal Care at Marwell Zoo, said: “Marwell is probably best known for its more exotic animals and for our conservation work with big cats, Grevy’s zebra and Scimitar-horned oryx, but we’ve been working for over 30 years to support the recovery of nature and wildlife here in Hampshire and across the southcoast too.

“White-clawed crayfish are a really important UK species. Our project is an opportunity for us to utilise the expertise and skills we have here at Marwell both in terms of animal management, welfare and husbandry but also in conservation science, education and impact. 

Together with our supporters and through the Green Match Fund, we can help to protect and save part of our own natural heritage. Making a difference to wildlife on our own doorstep.”

It’s a tight window and a large sum of money but let’s give this vital species a home at Marwell Zoo and ensure their survival for generations to come.

Support our claws Marwell Zoo crayfish campaign