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 Author: crow
PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:44 pm 
After a 29-year delay, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today protected the Texas Hornshell, a species of mussel from the Rio Grande and its tributaries, as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The last surviving native freshwater mussel in New Mexico, the hornshell is threatened by plans for a new dam, pollution and diminishing water in rivers due to global warming and agricultural and municipal use.

“This unique mussel now has an excellent chance of survival in the face of would-be dam-builders and polluters, thanks to the Endangered Species Act,” said Michael Robinson at the Center for Biological Diversity. “This is good news for the hornshell and for all of us who rely on clean water and find solace and peace in rivers that still flow.”

The Texas hornshell is the 194th species to receive protection under the Endangered Species Act as a result of a landmark agreement between the Center and the Service to evaluate wildlife and plant species at risk. The Endangered Species Act has been tremendously successful, saving 99 percent of the animals and plants under its protection from extinction and putting hundreds on the road to recovery.

Five remaining populations of the Texas hornshell persist in the United States, in the Black River of southeastern New Mexico, the Pecos and Devil’s rivers in Texas, and two populations on the Lower Rio Grande.

While the mussel appears abundant in stretches of the Black River and Rio Grande, only three old, male mussels could recently be found in the Pecos River, with no females and no young located. A sixth population that had been reintroduced in the Delaware River in New Mexico may have been wiped out in August 2017 when 18,000 gallons of wastewater from oil and gas production along with 11 gallons of oil spilled into the river from a ruptured pipeline. The water is still too contaminated to safely allow surveys for the mussel.

In addition to the threat of pollution and diminishing water due to global warming and increasing human demands, the Texas hornshell is also imperiled by plans for a dam near Laredo, Texas. The mussels require flowing water in order to reproduce.

Texas hornshells typically occur in narrow areas of rivers and streams with sand, clay or gravel bottoms. They prefer undercut big boulders where the current slows, allowing the mussels to get a safe foothold and not be washed away in times of high water. They also anchor themselves in crevices and undercut riverbanks.

Male Texas hornshells release their sperm into river currents, and females downstream inhale them to fertilize their eggs. Embryos develop in specialized portions of the females’ gills, growing into sand-grain-sized creatures called “glochidia,” which are released into the current and attach themselves to fish gills. The glochidia grow to maturity and then drop to the bottom of the river.

# # #
Contact: Michael Robinson
(575) 313-7017

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Community Events
Week of April 27, 2018


Qi Gung for Health and Longevity
CDT Birthday Bash at Seedboat Gallery
Women Embracing Recovery: We-R Group
Wild & Scenic Film Festival
Pet Central Thrift Store
Community Bike Ride @ The Bike Works
Hapkido Class
Our PAws' Cause Thrift Store
Love Your Library
Ecstatic Dance
Golf Competition
Hapkido Class
Tai Chi Chuan
New Hope Al-Anon Family Group
Laughter Yoga at 1 p.m. at the Lotus Center
Silver Chorale rehearsals
Silver City Rotary Club Meeting
Hapkido Class
Beginning Tai Chi at Lotus Center
Continuing Tai Chi at Lotus Center
Wine & The Word @The Toad Brewery
Grandparents Support Group
Our Paws' Cause Thrift Store
SNAP (Spay & Neuter Awareness Program)
Local Emergency & Disaster Preparedness
Hapkido Class
Wednesday Evening Al-Anon Family Group Meeting
Tai Chi Chuan
Insight Buddhist Meditation
Gin Rummy
Silver City Photo Club
Our Paws' Cause Thrift Store
Volunteer at The Bike Works 3-7pm
Silver City Photo Club
Beginning Tai Chi at Lotus Center
Continuing Tai Chi at Lotus Center
Job Interview Skills
Blooming Lotus Meditation
Table Tennis Competition - Senior Olympics
Pet Central Thrift Store
Our Paws' Cause Thrift Store

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