North Carolina Mussels on the Brink?
by Meg Lowman
It’s the biggest conservation crisis that no one talks about.
—Paul Johnson, director, Alabama Aquatic Biodiversity Center
What group of species is more common in North America than anywhere else?
Freshwater mussels. But this unique group of organisms rarely reaches the headlines or even reaches the center of discussion in school biology classes. Even more amazing is the fact that, of the 297 species found on our continent, two-thirds are concentrated in the Southeastern United States because of the region’s unique geology and relatively stable environment over the past 60 million years.