Staff from the Illinois Natural History Survey participated in a joint project with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to collect two federally-endangered mussels species from the Allegheny River, Pennsylvania, and translocate them to the Vermilion River basin (Wabash River drainage), Vermilion County, Illinois.On 25August 2014, 750Northern Riffleshell (Epioblasma rangiana) and 808Clubshell (Pleurobema clava) were collected at the U.S. Highway 62bridge construction project in Allegheny River, Forest County, Pennsylvania. Animals were quarantined for four days at the INHS Aquatic Research Pond Facilities in Champaign-Urbana. While in quarantine, all individuals were affixed with a uniquePIT tag and a plastic shellfish tag. After the quarantine period, the animals were divided and translocated to four sites in the Vermilion River basin, Vermilion County, Illinois, on 29-30 August 2014. These translocated animals were monitored in October 2014 to assess performance of translocations. The mean site results (58% detection and 100% “survivorship” for Northern Riffleshell and 79% detection and 100% “survivorship” for Clubshell) were comparable to previous years in Illinois. This relocation project is being funded, in part, by a natural resource damage assessment settlement (Hegeler Zinc—Lyondell Basell Companies) to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and to the State of Illinois.
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