It was Sunday 22nd July around 19:30. I was sitting down to play some FIFA 12 on my flatmates Xbox 360 when my friend Cherith text me. “I’m watching Countryfile and they say that cattle are killing freshwater mussels in the River Clun”. By the time I’d paused the game and switched over to BBC1, Matt Baker was saying something insightful about gliders “They’re very white!” Yes Matt, yes they are.
The freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera) is a pretty extraordinary mollusc. You can read all about it on Wikipedia but I’ll pull out the key facts:
- IUCN Redlist Endangered Species – similar to the Panda in this respect (thanks again Countryfile).
- Can live for over 200 years
- Recent population declines attributed to poor river management changes in water quality
Now my research into the effects of cattle grazing upon chalk streams hasn’t looked at the pressures influencing populations…
View original post 341 more words