Mussel conservation video released

The Georgia Department of Resources Wildlife Division just released an educational video on its mussel conservation projects throughout the state.

“If you love the rivers, you’ve got to love the mussels,” said Ani Escobar, an aquatic biologist with whom the River Basin Center collaborates. Escobar works for the Wildlife Resources Division primarily in the Coosa Basin.

Freshwater mussels serve as living filters in steams and rivers, intaking water full of suspended particles—some harmful pollutants—and expelling clean water.

Watch the video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZHySSgtJuc.

Precision Conservation of Imperiled Species

A tiny, rainbow-finned fish lives in the swiftly flowing waters of Georgia’s Etowah River. Known as the Etowah darter (Etheostoma etowahae), it exists only in the Etowah River Basin, mainly inhabiting the mountain streams of North Georgia.

The Etowah darter is only one example of the diverse array of freshwater fish, amphibians, crawfish and mussels that live in Georgia, including many endemic, imperiled species. However, the state is also a bustling transportation hub, with 1,253 miles of interstate highway and the busiest airport in the world.

Many of these species are highly sensitive to the threats associated with development.

In a recent project that brought together the University of Georgia’s River Basin Center and Institute for Resilient Infrastructure Systems, the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, researchers pinpointed ways to facilitate important construction projects around the state while tailoring conservation practices to each imperiled species’ needs.

Read the full article here.

A Wild Gopher Frog Chase

UGA Researcher Dr. Stacey Lance Searches for Gopher Frogs 

In a partnership with The Longleaf Alliance, a group dedicated to ensuring a sustainable future for the longleaf pine ecosystem in the Southeastern United States, River Basin Center and Savannah River Ecology Lab researcher Dr. Stacey Lance is working to identify suitable habitat for Carolina gopher frogs, a species identified as endangered in the Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama, and to survey existing populations on private lands. 

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