DID YOU KNOW?
Historically, 51 species of freshwater mussels lived in the Upper Mississippi River System.
Today, 44 species have been found in mussel surveys conducted in the past 35 years in the Upper Mississippi or Illinois Rivers.
In North America, it is estimated that 43% of the 300 species of freshwater mussels are in danger of extinction.
Further, the current extinction rate (percent loss per decade) for freshwater mussels is 1.2% and is estimated to be 6.4% in the future.
These rates fall within the range of estimates for tropical rainforest communities (1-8% loss per decade).
Historically, the Midwest boasted the most diverse collection of mussels in the world.
But today, the States of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio list more than half of their 78 known mussel species as endangered, threatened, or requiring special concern.