HTML _ 94-560 - Freshwater Mussels
14-Jul-1994; Lynne Corn; 3 p.

Abstract: The United States is home to approximately one-third of the world's freshwater mussel species. Freshwater mussels are regarded as important indicators of aquatic ecosystem health, because they are very sensitive to changes in water quality. As such, these seemingly inconsequential organisms are assigned tremendous ecological importance by many freshwater biologists Of the 300 or so U.S. species, 18 are thought to be extinct, nearly 60 listed as endangered or threatened, and 58 listed as candidates for protection under the Endangered Species Act (50 Code of Federal Regulations 17.11 & 17.12). Major threats to mussels include loss of habitat (from channel modifications, dams, etc.) and habitat deterioration from pollution. Other threats are the introduction of nonindigenous species and poaching for commercial trade. Efforts to increase populations include habitat improvement, enforcement of regulations related to riverine water and habitat quality, artificial propagation, reintroduction, and development of captive populations in hatcheries and farm ponds. [read report]

Topics: Marine, Agriculture

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