Conservation of the Freshwater Pearl Mussel: Restoration, Rearing and Reintroductions

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Dr Louise Lavictoire has been working with freshwater mussels for almost 15 years. She started working with the freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera) on the Freshwater Pearl Mussel Ark project at the FBA in 2007 and studied juvenile biology and captive breeding of the same species for her PhD. Louise is interested in the biological and ecological reasons for freshwater mussel declines. She was lucky enough to study freshwater mussel filtration rates at Missouri State University as part of a Fulbright Scholarship in 2017/18 and is currently researching how freshwater mussel population reinforcements should be carried out.

The freshwater pearl mussel is an endangered freshwater bivalve and a species which the FBA has been trying to save for over a decade. Back in 2007 the FBA embarked upon a captive breeding programme to rear juvenile mussels from a range of English rivers to save them from local extinction. Most mussel populations are now approaching critically low numbers and captive breeding is the only way to save populations in some of these rivers. In this seminar Dr. Louise Lavictoire will discuss how rearing activities have changed over the years, what our partners are doing to restore habitats in mussel rivers and how we are developing strategies for population reinforcements in mussel rivers. Louise will explore the benefits and potential pitfalls of captive breeding and reinforcement programmes and share some of the lessons we have learnt along the way.

Associated links:
Freshwater Pearl Mussel Conservation Projects at the FBA

Louise Lavictoire
Mussel Reintroductions Research Officer & Interim Head of Science

Tel:     +44 (0)1539 487713
Mob:  +44 (0)7903942238
Email: [email protected]

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