Texas Hornshell Mussel Species Placed on the Endangered List

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) identified last week that a freshwater mussel species, the Texas hornshell, which was at one time found in and around the Rio Grande drainage basin has now been put on America’s endangered species listing. According to a report by local news outlets, a representative for the Center for Biological Diversity identified that by doing this, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have, in effect, given the mussel a better chance of survival within the mussel’s current habitat.

There are presently only five known Texas hornshell populations left in the U.S. and with this listing, it will have legal protections not otherwise provided, which should assist the species in avoiding extinction. The Texas hornshell can yet be found in the Devil’s and Peco’s rivers, the Lower Rio Grande, and the Black River in New Mexico. The move by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has drawn praise from environmentalists and citizens alike while drawing scorn from other factions.

Texas Hornshell Mussel Species Placed on the Endangered List

Photo: Flickr/Joel Deluxe

According to the FWS, a species is placed on the list when it is found to be threatened or endangered due to “…the present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; disease or predation; the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or other natural or manmade factors affecting its survival.”