Community involvement in freshwater mussel ecology: Mussel Watch W.A.
Klunzinger, M.W., Robert, J. and Walters, R. (2010) Community involvement in freshwater mussel ecology: Mussel Watch W.A. In: 13th International River Symposium, 11 - 14 October, Perth, Western Australia.
Freshwater ecosystems are some of the most endangered on Earth and freshwater organisms, including mussels, are particularly vulnerable. In countries which have been thoroughly surveyed, many freshwater mussel populations are highly imperilled. The freshwater mussel Westralunio carteri was listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened species as a result of population decline due to salinisation of freshwater habitats. The Department of Environment and Conservation, Western Australia (W.A.), lists the species as Priority 4 (P4), taxa in need of monitoring. Little work has been done to update information on species distribution since the species was first listed in 1999. Public knowledge of freshwater mussels, in particular their life cycle and functional role in the ecosystem, is largely unknown. As a result, researchers at Murdoch University, in partnership with the South East Regional Centre for Urban Landcare (SERCUL) have created a website, developed by Robyn Walters, entitled www.musselwatchwa.com which will educate the public about the value of W. carteri to freshwater ecosystems of south-west W.A. and its unique life cycle (having larval ‘glochidia’ that are obligate parasites of fish), the importance of their conservation and online surveys to update and map distribution of the species.
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|Murdoch Affiliation:||Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research|
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