Giant Freshwater Crayfish in Tasmania

Did you know??

If you are anywhere near Burnie, this facility is well worth a visit.  

If you are anywhere near Burnie, this facility is well worth a visit.  

The Lobster Ponds are 10 minutes from Wynyard on the end of a dirt road that takes you through some beautifully productive dairy country. It was built some time ago by a local farmer and since his death it had been run entirely by volunteers.  

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Even if you are not interested in the lobsters it is still worth the drive for the picturesque landscape and the cafe at the Ponds. The cafe is also run by volunteers. It has enormous picture windows facing the open farmland.  

You can easily while away an hour sitting on their couch enjoying a freshly made Devonshire tea!!! 

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The volunteers then take you on a guided tour of the Ponds sharing all their knowledge about these endangered critters.  Your tour begins here in one of the ponds, river water is diverted into this facility. The lobster are monitored and a breeding program is having some success.

Given a chance these critters can grow up to a claw-span of one metre. Their size alone makes them an easy target for raptors and poachers. The raptors get a good dinner and the poachers get a $1000 fine per lobster.  

Given a chance these critters can grow up to a claw-span of one metre. Their size alone makes them an easy target for raptors and poachers. The raptors get a good dinner and the poachers get a $1000 fine per lobster.  

just another example of the uniqueness of NW Tasmania. 

just another example of the uniqueness of NW Tasmania. 

This fellow is about the size of a decent saltwater cray.  

This fellow is about the size of a decent saltwater cray.  

A growing freshwater lobster will shed his shell every six months. This little fellow is one of the 2% of eggs that actually grow into lobsters. Not a very good success rate?       

A growing freshwater lobster will shed his shell every six months. This little fellow is one of the 2% of eggs that actually grow into lobsters. Not a very good success rate? 

 

 

one of our tasks while I was volunteering in the alpine garden in Switzerland last July was to build a pond. In the clean up after the avalanche wiped out much of the garden in the gully, we found a small spring.. Our first job was to build a depression that would hold the fresh cool water.. Andreas, the assistant gardener lined it and then told us where to put what rocks.  The pond probably took 24 hours to fill to its overflow point.  We then filled it with other rocks for the frogs and lots of sphagnum moss. 

I then teased Klaus, the garden director that I would donate a Tasmanian freshwater crayfish for his pond!!  

Our pond. 

Our pond. 

Klaus, the garden director. 

Klaus, the garden director.