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Fish and Wildlife Service Designates
Critical Habitat for Two Freshwater
Mussels in 12 States - Including Illinois
April 29, 2015
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has finalized critical habitat designations for the Neosho mucket and rabbitsfoot mussels in rivers of 12 states under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In the Midwest, the rabbitsfoot is found in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Ohio; the Neosho mucket is found in Missouri.
The final designations are smaller than those proposed nearly three years ago. The Service altered the critical habitat designations after receiving new relevant information from a number of people and organizations. The final designations result in a net reduction of about two river miles for Neosho mucket and 217 river miles for rabbitsfoot. Both species of freshwater mussels are found in river systems in the eastern half of the United States and are indicators of clean water and healthy rivers. Today’s decision finalizes a proposal released in 2012 and includes the final economic analysis associated with the critical habitat designations.
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