The Orbost spiny crayfish has a highly fragmented and restricted distribution (1) (4), and is uncommon at the sites it inhabits (1) (5). One of the main threats to this freshwater species is a continuing decline in the quality of its habitat, as a result of timber harvesting and forest management activities. Together with associated road building activities, timber harvesting can affect water run-off into the streams this crayfish inhabits, as well as increasing the amounts of sediment and nutrients washing into the water (1) (4) (5).
Burning is often used to regenerate vegetation after timber harvesting, and this can further increase the nutrients and sediment entering streams. The loss of streamside vegetation can also increase light intensity and water temperature (1) (4) (5).
The restricted distribution and small populations of the Orbost spiny crayfish make it particularly vulnerable to any localised events, such as prolonged droughts. It is also likely to be negatively affected by introduced species, such as brown trout (Salmo trutta), cats, foxes, pigs and goats (1) (4) (5). In addition, the Orbost spiny crayfish may be threatened by over-collection in some areas (4).
As a high altitude species, the Orbost spiny crayfish is also likely be under threat from the potential effects of climate change. This may cause increased temperatures, altered water regimes, more severe weather events and a loss of suitable highland habitat, as well as increasing the potential for bushfires (1) (5).