Press Release
Service Announces Availability of Final Recovery Plan for Fluted Kidneyshell
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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the final recovery plan for the fluted kidneyshell, a freshwater mussel listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). A draft recovery plan was published in the Federal Register in March 2021 and has now been finalized. This plan includes specific criteria for determining when the fluted kidneyshell should be considered for delisting, removing it from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. It also lists site-specific actions that will be necessary to meet those criteria and estimates the time and costs required for implementing actions necessary to achieve recovery. The final recovery plan for the fluted kidneyshell is now available at the following website:

The fluted kidneyshell is a Cumberlandian Region mussel, meaning it is restricted to the Cumberland (Kentucky and Tennessee) and Tennessee (Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia) River drainages. The species was listed as endangered in October 2013, primarily due to threats associated with loss or alteration of its habitat and was deemed to have a high recovery potential. Recovery actions for the species will focus on protection and management of current populations, reducing threats to the species, and improving the understanding of the needs of the species through research and monitoring of the population. Captive propagation and reintroductions of the species into suitable habitat areas will also be implemented.

In order to promote and support the conservation and survival of endangered species and threatened species, and provide a transparent path to achieving recovery, we and our partners develop and implement recovery plans. Recovery plans are unique to each species and serve as central organizing tools that provide important guidance on methods of minimizing threats to listed species, such as restoring and acquiring habitat, removing introduced predators or invasive species invasive species
An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

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, conducting surveys, monitoring individual populations, and breeding species in captivity and releasing them into their historical range. Recovery plans identify measurable and objective criteria against which progress toward recovery of a species can be tracked over time. Recovery plans are guidance and not regulatory documents, and no agency or entity is required by the ESA to implement actions in a recovery plan.  

For more information on the fluted kidneyshell visit the Service’s Species Profile below or contact Anthony Ford at

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Endangered and/or Threatened species