Federally Listed Mussel Found on Proposed Mitigation Bank
It is always exciting to start the process of permitting a new mitigation bank here at WES Southeast. We never know what we’re going to find, despite conducting many hundreds of hours of research before even starting the process. We are especially excited when we learn that the establishment of one of our sites may help to preserve an endangered species.
A federally listed, or endangered mussel was recently found on our proposed Alabama River Mitigation Bank in Monroe County, Alabama. The Pleurobema perovatum (Ovate clubshell) mussel was identified in Tallatchee Creek while conducting an aquatic survey on the site. Pleurobema perovatum has never been found in Monroe County, AL until now. The survey by Dr. Mike Gangloff of Southeastern Aquatic Research indicated the stream supports unusually high mesohabitat diversity. Several other uncommon mussels were identified at this site including Anodontoides radiatus (Rayed creekshell) and Strophitus connasaugaensis (Alabama creekmussel). Because of the uniqueness of this site, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Aquatic Biodiversity Center (http://www.outdooralabama.com/research-mgmt/aquatic/) are evaluating the possibility of introducing captive reared mussels to the system. As over 3,100 feet of this section of Tallatchee Creek will be preserved and protected forever by establishing our Alabama River Mitigation Bank, we expect these mussels to continue to flourish and hopefully multiply in the years to come.