LRP - Licenses

LRP - Regulations

LRP - Permits

Recreation - Statewide

Recreation - Trapping

Recreation - Fishing

Recreation - Hunting

Env. Protection - Management

Env. Protection - Emergency

Env. Protection - Resources

To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your contact information below.

Share your observations

Share your observations of plants or non-game animals with the Natural Heritage Inventory.

Rare animals
Find rare and non-game animals.
Rare plants
Learn about plants on the Natural Heritage Working List.
Rare lichens
Discover Wisconsin's lichens.
Natural communities
Explore Wisconsin's natural communities.
Other features
Discover unique resources.
Eagle license plate

Help care for rare plants and animals by ordering an Endangered Resources plate.

Contact information
For information on Wisconsin's rare animals, contact:
Rich Staffen
Conservation Biologist

Prairie Crayfish (Procambarus gracilis)

Need a main photo for this animal



Prairie crayfish (Procambarus gracilis), a State Special concern crayfish. This primarily burrowing crayfish is restricted to prairie regions of southeastern Wisconsin and is the rarest crayfish in Wisconsin. This species frequents burrows in banks of ponds, roadside ditches, small sluggish creeks, marshes, swamps, and small artificial lakes, as well as wet pastures and flat fields in prairies. The burrows can be quite deep and branching, with a characteristic mud chimney. This species spends most of its life in its burrow habitat, coming out at night and during rain events. Breeding occurs and young hatch in early spring, as early as March, with juveniles occurring through spring and summer. Females move to open water for a relatively short period in the summer where the newly hatched young are released.

State status

Status and Natural Heritage Inventory documented occurrences in Wisconsin

The table below provides information about the protected status - both state and federal - and the rank (S and G Ranks) for Prairie Crayfish (Procambarus gracilis). See the Working List Key for more information about abbreviations. Counties shaded blue have documented occurrences for this species in the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory database. The map is provided as a general reference of where occurrences of this species meet NHI data standards and is not meant as a comprehensive map of all observations.

Note: Species recently added to the NHI Working List may temporarily have blank occurrence maps.

Documented locations of Procambarus gracilis in the Natural Heritage Inventory Database as of July 2015.
Summary Information
State StatusSC/N
Federal Status in Wisconsinnone
State RankS2S3
Global RankG5
Tracked by NHIY

Species guidance

A guidance document is not available at this time. Use the information from the other tabs and contact local biologists, as needed, to develop management and avoidance strategies.


No additional photos are available for Prairie Crayfish at this time. Please consider donating a photo to the Natural Heritage Conservation program.

Last revised: Friday, June 01, 2018