Mussel Technical Section
Chair - Scott Gritters, IADNR
No other group of animals in North America
is in such grave danger of extinction!
More Opportunities for Mussel Sampling (2018)
Contact Scott Gritters - 563-872-4976
Dan Kelner - 651-290-5277
Joe Jordan - 309-794-5791
For information on:
species identification and location, threatened & endangered mussels, life history, ecology, harvest, current threats, conservation activities, ongoing studies & projects, multimedia, teacher resources, frequently asked questions, glossary, references & links to other mussel sites
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.
Photos of Mussel Conservation Activities
Juvenile Mussels after Propagation
USFWS and IA DNR Work Together on Mussel Conservation