New crayfish species named by Louisville-based outdoors company

Meet “MoWild”
New crayfish specie found in Kentucky gets an official name
New crayfish specie found in Kentucky gets an official name(Ky Fish and Wildlife)
Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 9:15 AM CDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WBKO) - After a unique Kentucky Wild auction in 2020 awarded naming rights for a newly discovered crayfish species to the top bidder, the company GoWild Alpha, Inc. selected “MoWild” as the official common name of the species.

“This auction’s goal was to raise awareness and resources for conservation of Kentucky’s nongame and at-risk species. I can’t think of a better partner in this effort than the folks at GoWild,” said Zack Couch, a wildlife biologist specializing in endangered species conservation at the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

Considered endangered, the MoWild crayfish species has only been documented in streams in parts of Jefferson, Bullitt and Meade counties. While Kentucky Fish and Wildlife will determine the scientific name, this was historically the first occurrence that naming rights to a native Kentucky species became available for public bid.

“GoWild co-founder and CEO Brad Luttrell jumped on the opportunity to bid on the naming rights,” said Couch, who discovered the unknown species while working afield near Louisville in 2006. “Their ability to reach people via the GoWild app to promote conservation efforts is a great opportunity.”

GoWild Alpha, Inc., a Louisville-based company formed in 2017, hosts a social media platform geared toward connecting outdoors enthusiasts and sharing outdoors experiences.

“Conservation is important to our company, and this was a really fun way to support those who are protecting our wild lands and wildlife while also raising awareness of the platform,” Luttrell said. “Our mission is to unlock the gate to the outdoors. In other words, we want to make everyone a little ‘MoWild.’ This opportunity is a chance to communicate the value of outdoors adventure.”

Kentucky Wild directly supports vulnerable wildlife facing threats in the Commonwealth. The membership program provides opportunities for its members to work side by side with biologists on projects that conserve and protect native Kentucky species for future generations to enjoy.

For more information on Kentucky Wild, visit fw.ky.gov.

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