Not only humans rely on good, clean freshwater to survive

Regardless of who is to blame – and there are many causes of water pollution – the fact there is a problem is clear.
One special creature that lives in our streams, lakes, ponds, and swamps is the koura, or freshwater crayfish.
* Analysis: ‘Swimmability’ only part of the grim freshwater story * ‘Serious pressures’ facing rivers, Government report finds Koura are found in native and exotic forests, and pastoral waterways, but very rarely in urban streams because of chemical pollution, increased flood flows from stormwater inputs, and degradation of habitat.
There are two species endemic to New Zealand – a larger one that grows up to 80 centimetres long and is found on Stewart Island in the Marlborough Sounds and the east and south of the South Island, and one that is slightly smaller and found in the North Island, top of the south, and the West Coast.
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They also have a sort of reverse gear, to shoot back into shelter when alarmed, by flicking their tail forwards violently.
Their first pair of legs, their pincers, are used mainly for catching food, for fighting with invaders, or for waving menacingly at intruders.
Koura are scavengers that feed on leftovers that float by in the water or settle on the bottom; old leaves and small insects are favourites.
They cling to their mothers with their pincers until they are nearly 4 millimetres long.
Be aware of what goes down the drain, and remember that we are not the only ones who depend on clean freshwater streams and rivers.

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