A fundamental consideration for the conservation of a species is the extent of its native range, however defining a native range is often challenging as changing environments drive shifts in species distributions over time. The crucian carp, Carassius carassius (L.) is a threatened freshwater fish native to much of Europe, however the extent of this range is ambiguous. One particularly contentious region is England, in which C. carassius is currently considered native on the basis of anecdotal evidence. Here, we use 13 microsatellite loci, population structure analyses and approximate bayesian computation (ABC), to empirically test the native status of C. carassius in England. Contrary to the current consensus, ABC yields strong support for introduced origins of C. carassius in England, with posterior distribution estimates placing their introduction in the 15th century, well after the loss of the doggerland landbridge. This result brings to light an interesting and timely debate surrounding our motivations for the conservation of species. We discuss this topic, and make arguments for the continued conservation of C. carassius in England, despite its non-native origins.