Perceived socio-economic impacts of the marbled crayfish invasion in Madagascar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Electronic versions



  • Rana Andriantsoa
    DKFZ-ZMBH Alliance German Cancer Research Center
  • J.P.G. Jones
  • Vlad Achimescu
    Mannheim University
  • Heriniaina Randrianarison
    University of Antananarivo
  • Miary Raselimanana
    University of Antananarivo
  • Manjary Andriatsitohaina
    University of Antananarivo
  • Jeanne Rasamy
    University of Antananarivo
  • Frank Lyko
    DKFZ-ZMBH Alliance German Cancer Research Center

The negative environmental and economic impacts of many invasive species are well known. However, given the increased homogenization of global biota, and the difficulty of eradicating species once established, a balanced approach to considering the impacts of invasive species is needed. The marbled crayfish (Procambarus virginalis) is a parthenogenetic freshwater crayfish that was first observed in Madagascar around 2005 and has spread rapidly. We present the results of a socio-economic survey (n = 385) in three regions of Madagascar that vary in terms of when the marbled crayfish first arrived. Respondents generally considered marbled crayfish to have a negative impact on rice agriculture and fishing, however the animals were seen as making a positive contribution to household economy and food security. Regression modeling showed that respondents in regions with longer experience of marbled crayfish have more positive perceptions. Unsurprisingly, considering the perception that crayfish negatively impact rice agriculture, those not involved in crayfish harvesting and trading had more negative views towards the crayfish than those involved in crayfish-related activities. Food preference ranking and market surveys revealed the acceptance of marbled crayfish as a cheap source of animal protein; a clear positive in a country with widespread malnutrition. While data on biodiversity impacts of the marbled crayfish invasion in Madagascar are still completely lacking, this study provides insight into the socio-economic impacts of the dramatic spread of this unique invasive species. "Biby kely tsy fantam-piaviana, mahavelona fianakaviana" (a small animal coming from who knows where which supports the needs of the family). Government worker Analamanga, Madagascar.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0231773
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2020

Total downloads

No data available
View graph of relations