The crayfish is highly sought after in many places due to its green shell and stunning orange-tipped tail and claws.
Three German Scientists named a new species of crayfish after American intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden, in order to honor his quest for freedom and justice.
Cherax snowden, a paratype male from Oinsok River drainage, Sawiat District.
“Those crayfish have been captured by an unknown local collector from Kepala Burung for ornamental purposes in West Papua, Indonesia and imported to Aquarium Dietzenbach in Germany through Maju Aquarium in Jakarta”.
A certain kind of Indonesian crayfish, greenish-orange in color, was recently recognized by scientists as a unique species and dubbed Cherax snowden. Through their study, published in ZooKeys, the researchers explained that they used sequence divergence to prove it was a different species.
Edward Snowden is now living in Moscow even though nearly 168.000 people have signed a petition to allow him to return, but the White House rejected the petition.
Lukhaup, who has named other species before, told the Washington Post that the motivation behind the name came from his support for the former National Security Agency contractor turned whistleblower. However for the researchers it is easy to be distinguished because of the shape of its body and especially because of its very handsome coloration.
Local collectors are also reporting a decrease in the population of new species in the last few years.
In their conclusion they note that there could be potential threats to Cherax snowden.
As a effect the trade of this newly-discovered species will not be a practice which will enjoy support.
The researchers noted that continued gathering of crayfish for trade could threaten its population, “and if the popularity of the species continues, a conservation management plan will have to be developed, potentially including a captive breeding program”.