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Freshwater mussel species facing extinction according to US Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing listing the salamander mussel as endangered after conducting a species status assessment.

ARKANSAS, USA — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced its intentions to propose listing the salamander mussel, which can be found in Arkansas, as endangered.

According to the service, a species status assessment including data about the impacts of past, present and future factors affecting the species shows that it is endangered according to the definition under the Endangered Species Act.

Salamander mussels can be found across 14 states, including Arkansas. The service states in a press release that the salamander mussel “is a small, thin-shelled mussel that inhabits swift-flowing rivers and streams with areas of shelter under rocks or in crevices.”

The primary threats to the salamander mussel population identified by the report include contaminants, changes in water flow, and risks to its host species, the mudpuppy. Therefore, the service also recommends the designation of a critical habitat to contain essential habitat features for the survival and recovery of the species.

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