Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Boosting endangered freshwater mussels population

Date:
April 2, 2010
Source:
Queen's University Belfast
Summary:
The endangered freshwater mussel species has been given a welcome boost following a 12 year cultivation project. Over 300 of the mussels, which are threatened in many parts of Europe and North America, have been released back into the wild at a range of secret locations in Northern Ireland.

Queen's conservation scientist Conor Wilson pictured with one of the tagged freshwater mussels released back into the river as part of a 12-year research project.
Credit: Queen's Press and PR Unit

The endangered freshwater mussel species has been given a welcome boost by scientists from Queen's University Belfast following a 12 year cultivation project.

Related Articles


Over 300 of the mussels, which are threatened in many parts of Europe and North America, have been released back into the wild at a range of secret locations in Northern Ireland.

And in a novel development, the conservation scientists from Queen's will be able to keep tabs on the precious mussels after attaching tags to the outside of their shells. The Passive Integrated Transponders or PIT tags can be located by a receiver much like a metal detector, meaning the researchers can then relocate the animals in the riverbed and monitor each mussel's progress.

Conor Wilson a PhD student at Quercus, Queen's research centre for biodiversity and conservation science in the University's School of Biological Sciences said: "Queen's had been working alongside experts at Ballinderry Fish Hatchery in Co. Tyrone since 1998 in order to cultivate these precious but very slow growing mussels. They can grow to 17 cm in length and can reach 285 years old but in Northern Ireland they are currently teetering on the brink of extinction and the only counties the mussels currently exist in are Tyrone and Fermanagh.

"Freshwater mussels are an important part of the ecosystem in many rivers as they filter water keeping it clean and clear. This improves the environment for other plants and animals, and ultimately, humans.

"Our hope is that eventually, through a programme of breeding and tracking we will be able to see the equilibrium restored in these rivers and bring the levels of mussels back to what they were 100 years ago, before they were affected by a variety of factors including overfishing and habitat degradation."

The year-long release programme of the mussels has just been completed and those involved in the project say it has been a big success. Dr. Dai Roberts, academic lead on the project said: "Ultimately, this work which has been funded by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), evaluates whether captive breeding and release is a successful means to halt the decline of severely depleted populations. We hope it will be a success and that it can be replicated in many other areas of need across Europe and beyond."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen's University Belfast. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Queen's University Belfast. "Boosting endangered freshwater mussels population." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100323105948.htm>.
Queen's University Belfast. (2010, April 2). Boosting endangered freshwater mussels population. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100323105948.htm
Queen's University Belfast. "Boosting endangered freshwater mussels population." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100323105948.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lion Makes Surprise Comeback in Gabon

Lion Makes Surprise Comeback in Gabon

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) — The noble lion has made a comeback in southeast Gabon, after disappearing for years, according to US wildlife organisation Panthera, which recently took live video footage of a male. Duration: 00:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) — The governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone have been busy fighting the menace created by the deadly Ebola virus, but illicit drug lords have taken advantage of the situation to advance the drug trade. Duration: 01:12 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tracking This Warbler's 'Extraordinary' Transoceanic Flight

Tracking This Warbler's 'Extraordinary' Transoceanic Flight

Newsy (Apr. 1, 2015) — The blackpoll warbler makes one of the longest nonstop flights in the animal kingdom: three days straight for some 1,500 miles. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gorilla Falls Into Zoo Moat

Gorilla Falls Into Zoo Moat

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) — A gorilla comes to the rescue of her sister who fell into a moat in Israel&apos;s Safari zoo. Rough cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins