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Escambia River near Mystic Spring, Florida
Escambia River near Mystic Spring, Florida
   

Freshwater Mussels


 


The rivers that flow into the eastern Gulf of Mexico, historically supported 58 species of freshwater mussels, the majority of which (nearly 70%) are found only in these systems. Nine endangered and seven threatened mussel species occur in rivers systems from the Escambia River east to the Suwannee River in Alabama, Florida and Georgia.

 
Credit: M.M. Gangloff    

Small southern kidneyshell
Pea River, Alabama
Small southern kidneyshell
   



Populations of freshwater mussels have declined precipitously in recent decades. Creeks and rivers of the region are impacted by a variety of anthropogenic (human related) factors. These 16 endangered and threatened mussels were eliminated from portions of their historical ranges by factors such as sedimentation, pollution, dams, channel destabilization, and dredging.

 
Credit: M.M. Gangloff    



8 Mussels Listed in 2012



7 Mussels Listed in 1998

   

High density site
Apalachicola River, Florida
High density site Apalachicola River, Florida
   

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Credit: FWS    

 

Last updated: April 22, 2014