WASHINGTON (CN) – The destruction and degradation of the habitat of three Georgia mollusks has become so severe that the pigtoe mussel, the interrupted rocksnail and the rough hornsnail warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act, according the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The agency has designated 160 miles of stream and river channels as critical habitat for the three species, in Alabama counties of Cherokee, Clay, Coosa, Elmore and Shelby; Georgia counties of Gordon, Floyd, Murray and Whitfield; and Tennessee counties of Bradley and Polk.
All three species have suffered more than 90 percent reductions in the range of their historic habitat, mostly due to the construction of hydroelectric dams on the Coosa River that caused sediment build up, rising water temperature and isolation of breeding populations reducing their genetic health.
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