IUCN Species of the Day: Blue River Crab


The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(tm)
Blue River Crab

Photo credit: Neil Cumberidge


The Blue River Crab, Potamonautes lividus, is listed as ‘VULNERABLE’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. This medium-sized crab is endemic to swamp forests in northeastern Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. Individuals inhabit u-shaped burrows which they dig among vegetation in the spongy peat soil. It is terrestrial at night and during rainstorms, when it leaves its burrow to feed on land.

The Blue River Crab is found in isolated patches of wetlands, which are being drained to allow the expansion of human settlement and agriculture. The fragmentation of these areas makes this species particularly vulnerable, as individuals are unlikely to be able to move on to other suitable habitat.

Although populations of this crab are isolated, it is found in three protected areas in northeastern Kwa-Zulu Natal: the Mapelane Nature Reserve, the Mkuze Game Reserve, and the Hluhluwe Game Reserve.


Geographic Range of the Blue River Crab

Credit: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™


To learn more about the Blue River Crab, click here. Or visit the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ by clicking their logo below.

To learn more about the Bush Warriors “Species of the Day” feature, please click here and read up on our initiative to raise awareness about the loss of earth’s biodiversity.


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