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Chinese crab invading British waters: experts

An exotic Chinese crab which preys on native British species is on the verge of taking over the country?s major waterways, environmental experts warned on Wednesday.

india Updated: Feb 09, 2006 12:26 IST

An exotic Chinese crab which preys on native British species is on the verge of taking over the country’s major waterways, environmental experts warned on Wednesday.

Mitten crabs, which can grow to the size of a dinner plate, could threaten other marine life, just as grey squirrels have pushed British reds to the verge of extinction, said researchers.

They compared how mittens had swept through continental Europe in the last century with their progress through British waters and concluded there could be a population explosion in several years.

The creatures can survive in both sea and fresh water and are adept at moving over land. They prey on protected species native to British waters like white-clawed crayfish and salmon eggs. They also destabilise river banks.

First Published: Feb 09, 2006 12:26 IST