Page last updated at 13:30 GMT, Friday, 1 August 2008 14:30 UK

Oil kills under-threat crayfish

White-clawed crayfish
Investigators are trying to pin-point the source of the oil spill

Hundreds of a protected species of crayfish have been killed by an oil spill in a south Cumbrian river.

The Environment Agency said 300 white-clawed crayfish, were wiped out after oil got into a tributary of the River Kent, near Staveley, a week ago.

Officials were alerted by a woman who spotted oil on her dog's paws.

They are trying to identify the source of the spill and want to speak to the owner of a white van that was parked on the verge of the A591 on 24 July.

Freshwater shrimp have also been killed by the pollution.

Jim Ratcliffe, environment management team leader said: "This has had a significant impact on crayfish stocks in the tributary.

"Crayfish are a protected species and we work hard to look after them and their habitats.

"We want to work with the public, for further information about this incident."




SEE ALSO
Crayfish plague spreads to river
22 Oct 07 |  England
Endangered species given new home
12 Aug 06 |  Somerset

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