Mussel and Snail Work in the Cahaba River
September 27, 2012
AABC staff reintroduced Southern Combshell (Epioblasma penita) and Coosa Moccasinshell (Medionidus parvulus), into two different localities in the Cahaba River basin. Both species are federally endangered and both were extirpated from Alabama.
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks donated the Southern Combshell brood stock. The Southern Combshell historically occurred throughout the Mobile Basin, but remains in about 8 miles of the Buttahatchee River in Mississippi. These 74 - 1 & 2 year old animals cultured at the AABC for approximately 18 and 30 months, from 10 females collected in April 2010 and 2011 (5 each year). Notably, the 2-year old females are produced in captivity are now gravid and charging.
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency provided brood stock for the Coosa Moccasinshell, which remains in about 6 miles of the Conasauga River basin TN and GA (upper Coosa). Historically the species was found in the Warrior, Cahaba, and Coosa basins above the Fall Line, but this federally endangered species is nearly extinct. Initial culture efforts from a single gravid female produced 59 juveniles that, at 18-month old, are ready for release. Most importantly, approximately 200 Coosa moccasinshell that are 5-months old produced from two other females in suspended upwellers will be added to this reintroduction effort next year.