Posts tagged with freshwater mussels. View all posts

Six Texas freshwater mussels, the “livers of the rivers,” added to endangered species list

AP News, Dallas—The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared six species of freshwater mussels found in Central Texas as endangered and another as threatened. Environmental scientists refer to freshwater mussels as “the liver of the river” because they filter harmful substances like algae from bodies of water. But the species, once found in abundance in Central Texas, have declined in recent years due to population growth and development destroying its habitat.

Map of the Month: Freshwater Mussels: Key Indicators of Ecosystem Health

Freshwater mussels play an important role in the health of freshwater ecosystems by providing food and habitat for other aquatic species, stabilizing stream bottoms, and filtering the water in our lakes and rivers. The Rio Grande basin is home to three mussel species suffering from habitat loss and growing human populations in this area may be threatening the water systems necessary for their survival.