Translocation of freshwater mussels is a conservation tool used to reintroduce extirpated populations or augment small populations. Few studies have evaluated the effectiveness of translocations, mainly because estimating survival is challenging and time-consuming. We used a mark-recapture approach to estimate survival of nearly 4,000 individually marked Clubshell ( Pleurobema clava ) and Northern Riffleshell ( Epioblasma rangiana ) translocated to eight sites over a five-year period into the Salt Fork and Middle Fork Vermilion rivers in central Illinois. Survival differed among sites and between species; Clubshell were approximately five times more likely to survive than Northern Riffleshell. Survival also increased in the fourth year following a release and decreased following high-flow events. Translocating numerous individuals into multiple sites over a period of years could spread the risk of catastrophic high-flow events and maximize the likelihood for establishing self-sustaining populations.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Freshwater Mollusk Biology and Conservation|
|State||Published - 2017|