50 Purple Cat’s Paw Pearlymussels Released in Ohio River

October 3, 2017
purple cats paw

This purple cat’s paw didn’t make it; a huge dent in a dwindling population. The shell will likely end up in a museum collection.

Scientists have recently released 50 of one of the most endangered animals on the planet: the Purple Cat’s Paw Pearlymussel. The mussels were released into the Ohio River on September 27, 2017 and were grown in labs from KY Dept. of Fish and Wildlife and White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery in WV.  Read more here.

The mussels released were in large part propagated from the mussels that EnviroScience malacologists collected. Read more here.

The fight to preserve this species is inspired by the crucial role that freshwater mussels play in our water quality. These little guys filter out all kinds of bad particles in our streams and rivers, so the more mussels we have, the cleaner our water is.

The species has been listed as endangered since 1990, as its numbers plummeted due to agricultural and industrial runoff polluting rivers.  In addition to combating pollution, the mussels are struggling with reproduction.  The species uses fish as a host to carry its eggs to new areas, but many of the fish populations have left the polluted areas.

Even though this is still an uphill battle, it is absolutely necessary and we thank all those who are fighting to preserve the Purple Cat’s Paw!