Efforts to conserve an endangered species which lives in Sheffield rivers have been dealt a ‘major setback’, the Environment Agency has revealed.
A plague has affected crayfish in the Porter Brook, ecologists have confirmed, after the discovery of dead and dying crayfish in the river near Ecclesall Road.
The environment body is now planning to undertake a comprehensive survey of the watercourse to find out how much of an impact the plague has had on the population.
It is hoped the plague will have run its course by next year.
Biodiversity officer Ian Marshall said: “This is terrible news, and a real setback to the work we are doing to save this endangered species.
“At this stage we don’t know how the plague infected the Porter Brook.”