Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
The dwarf wedge mussel is threatened rangewide by municipal waste discharges; polluted storm water runoff; agricultural and non-agricultural use of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers; certain bank stabilization projects; removal of riparian vegetation; and adjacent development.
The New York population of the dwarf wedge mussel, discovered in 1990 in the Neversink River during surveys conducted for the New York Natural Heritage Program, is the first report of this species from the Delaware River Basin since the early 1900s. Of the 20 known remaining locations of this species, the New York population, which occurs in an approximately 10-mile stretch of the river, is believed to be one of the largest. The discovery of this population will promote recovery efforts by providing valuable research opportunities, and will provide a potential source for reestablishing or augmenting other populations. Protection of the species' New York habitat was aided when a proposal to install riprap along the riverbank was withdrawn in favor of planting vegetation.
Recovery of the dwarf wedge mussel will require population monitoring, protection of existing populations and habitats, public education and cooperation, research on the species' life history and ecological requirements, and, potentially, reestablishment of mussel populations within its historic range.
In FY 1991, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation was provided $3,000 to document threats, research shoreline property ownership, and develop a protection and management strategy for the Neversink River population. In FY 1992, the Department was provided $9,000 to conduct research on the habitat and ecology of the dwarf wedge mussel.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and New York Natural Heritage Program: These State agencies have ongoing efforts in research, protection, and management of the dwarf wedge mussel. A draft recovery plan identifies State agency responsibilities for the collection of data necessary for protecting, preserving, monitoring, and investigating the feasibility of reestablishing mussel populations.
The Nature Conservancy: This private organization contacts municipal and State regulatory agencies about proposed discharges and discharge permit modifications for facilities on the Neversink River. It is also working with Sullivan County regarding the County landfill.
Technical/Agency draft plan.