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ESA001-00306

Critically endangered (IUCN) and federally endangered Cumberlandian combshell (Epioblasma brevidens). It has lures that look like fish eggs on top that are used to attract fish. When a fish strikes at the lures, the mussels then eject their larvae into the fish’s gills and are able to increase their distribution, even upstream. The Clinch River has more federally listed aquatic species than any river in North America, yet is threatened by pollution and habitat loss. Coal mining in the watershed now raises the threat even more.

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A critically endangered (IUCN) and federally endangered rough pigtoe (Pleurobema plenum) taken from the Clinch River near Sneedville.

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Critically endangered (IUCN) and federally listed endangered freshwater mussels taken from the Clinch River near Sneedville. Shown is the oyster mussel (Epioblasma capsaeformis) displaying its blue-white mantle.The Clinch River has more federally listed aquatic species than any river in North America, yet is threatened by pollution and habitat loss. Coal mining in the watershed now raises the threat even more.

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ESA001-00292

A critically endangered (IUCN) and federally endangered rough pigtoe (Pleurobema plenum) taken from the Clinch River near Sneedville.

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ESA001-00308

A critically endangered (IUCN) and federally endangered rough pigtoe (Pleurobema plenum) taken from the Clinch River near Sneedville. Shown is the rough pigtoe (Pleurobema plenum). The Clinch River has more federally listed aquatic species than any river in North America, yet is threatened by pollution and habitat loss. Coal mining in the watershed now raises the threat even more.

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ESA001-00293

A federally endangered cracking pearly mussel (Hemistena lata) taken from the Clinch River near Sneedville.

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ESA001-00294

A critically endangered (IUCN) and federally endangered oyster mussel (Epioblasma capsaeformis) displaying its blue-white mantle. These mussels and many others are in danger of extinction due to habitat loss due such as impoundments and pollution. Pollution from coal mining in the Clinch River watershed is of special concern. The fine sedimentation that comes downstream from the mines is thought to impede mussel survival.

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ESA001-00295

Critically endangered (IUCN) and federally endangered Cumberlandian combshell (Epioblasma brevidens) taken from the Clinch River near Sneedville. These mussels and many others are in danger of extinction due to habitat loss due such as impoundments and pollution. Pollution from coal mining in the Clinch River watershed is of special concern. The fine sedimentation that comes downstream from the mines is thought to impede mussel survival.

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ESA001-00296

Critically endangered (IUCN) and federally endangered Cumberlandian combshell (Epioblasma brevidens) taken from the Clinch River near Sneedville. These mussels and many others are in danger of extinction due to habitat loss due such as impoundments and pollution. Pollution from coal mining in the Clinch River watershed is of special concern. The fine sedimentation that comes downstream from the mines is thought to impede mussel survival.

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ESA001-00297

Critically endangered (IUCN) and federally endangered Cumberlandian combshell (Epioblasma brevidens) taken from the Clinch River near Sneedville. These mussels and many others are in danger of extinction due to habitat loss due such as impoundments and pollution. Pollution from coal mining in the Clinch River watershed is of special concern. The fine sedimentation that comes downstream from the mines is thought to impede mussel survival.

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ESA001-00298

Critically endangered (IUCN) and federally endangered Cumberlandian combshell (Epioblasma brevidens) taken from the Clinch River near Sneedville. These mussels and many others are in danger of extinction due to habitat loss due such as impoundments and pollution. Pollution from coal mining in the Clinch River watershed is of special concern. The fine sedimentation that comes downstream from the mines is thought to impede mussel survival.

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ESA001-00287

Critically endangered (IUCN) and federally endangered Cumberlandian combshell (Epioblasma brevidens) taken from the Clinch River near Sneedville. They have ball lures on top that are used to attract fish to come near. When a fish strikes at the lures, the freshwater mussels then eject their larvae into the fish’s gills and are able to increase their distribution that way.

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Endangered mussels from the Clinch River in eastern Tennessee. More endangered aquatic animals are found here than anywhere else in North America.

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Endangered mussels from the Clinch River in eastern Tennessee. More endangered aquatic animals are found here than anywhere else in North America.

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A mussel shows off coal fines, the sediments from Virginia’s coal mines that wash into the rivers of Tennessee. It is thought that coal fines and the use of heavy industrial chemicals to clean coal in Viriginia are both major factors in the disappearance of rare Mussels in the Clinch and Powell Rivers, two of the last places where many rare mussels were found.

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ESA001-00092

A mussel shows off coal fines, the sediments from Virginia’s coal mines that wash into the rivers of Tennessee. It is thought that coal fines and the use of heavy industrial chemicals to clean coal in Viriginia are both major factors in the disappearance of rare Mussels in the Clinch and Powell Rivers, two of the last places where many rare mussels were found.

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ANI041-00015

Mussels taken from the Clinch River near Sneedville. Shown is the elktoe mussel (Alasmidonta marginata).

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Snuffbox mussel (Epioblasma triquetra), a species found in the eastern US. Remaining populations are small and isolated.

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Mussels taken from the Clinch River near Sneedville. Shown is the elktoe mussel (Alasmidonta marginata).

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Mussels taken from the Clinch River near Sneedville. Shown is the sheepnose mussel (Plethobasus cyphyus.) This species occurs in the Clinch, Powell, Duck, Holston Rivers, as well as some Northern Rivers. It is currently not rare.

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Freshwater mussels collected by biologists from the Clinch River in Tennessee.

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Cumberlandian combshell (endangered freshwater mussel) in the hands of biologists on the Clinch River in Kentucky. Mussels are the most endangered fauna species, with 50% of them now either threatened, endangered, or extinct.

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Endangered freshwater mussels in the hands of biologists onthe Clinch River in Kentucky. Mussels are the most endangered fauna species, with 50% of them now either threatened, endangered, or extinct.

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Endangered freshwater mussels from the Clinch River in Kentucky. Mussels are the most endangered fauna species, with 50% of them now either threatened, endangered, or extinct.

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ANI041-00005

Biologists dive in search of endangered freshwater mussels on the Clinch River in Kentucky. Mussels are the most endangered fauna species, with 50% of them now either threatened,endangered, or extinct.

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Endangered freshwater mussels from the Clinch River in Kentucky. Mussels are the most endangered fauna species, with 50% of them now either threatened, endangered, or extinct.

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ANI041-00004

Endangered freshwater mussels in the hands of biologists onthe Clinch River in Kentucky. Mussels are the most endangered fauna species, with 50% of them now either threatened, endangered, or extinct.

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ANI041-00002

Endangered freshwater mussels in the hands of biologists onthe Clinch River in Kentucky. Mussels are the most endangered fauna species, with 50% of them now either threatened, endangered, or extinct.

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ANI041-00003

Endangered freshwater mussels from the Clinch River in Kentucky. Mussels are the most endangered fauna species, with 50% of them now either threatened, endangered, or extinct.

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ANI041-00001

Endangered freshwater mussels in the hands of biologists onthe Clinch River in Kentucky. Mussels are the most endangered fauna species, with 50% of them now either threatened, endangered, or extinct.

Photo: Julie Jensen Director of Marketing | WVC O: 866.800.7326 | D: 702.443.9249 | E: j.jensen@wvc.org

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