NC State University / College of Veterinary Medicine

Learn More About Freshwater Mussels

 Lampsilis fasciola


North America was historically the home of approximately 300 freshwater mussel species. These animals filter bacteria, algae, and fine organic matter from our lakes and streams. They are a vital part of ecosystems, serving as indicators of healthy streams, and even help remove sediment and other pollutants from the water column. Unfortunately, loss of habitat and water quality have led to the decline of approximately 70% of our species, with many being endangered or even already extinct. This places them among the most endangered groups of animals on the planet. The approximately 60 species that call North Carolina home are in the same predicament with many populations declining. Six of the state's species are listed as federally endangered. Our laboratory is dedicated to the conservation of this unique group of animals through propagation and research on basic life history and biology. We frequently partner with:

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
North Carolina State University Department of Toxicology
North Carolina Natural Heritage Program
North Carolina Department of Transportation
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
US Fish and Wildlife Service

Villosa delumbis
snorkeling in the South Flat River


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