COFFEYVILLE (KSNT) – Members of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks recently completed a survey that found members of an endangered and threatened species alive and well in a Kansas river.
According to the KDWP, a survey to locate endangered and threatened mussels was concluded in the Verdigris River at a site Northwest of Coffeyville. The site, which had previously been surveyed in 2011 and 2003, yielded 682 individual mussel specimens over the course of a 30-minute timed search by four members of KDWP staff.
These mussels represented 16 different species in total. Of these, 14 were found to be part of two species that are currently listed as endangered or threatened in Kansas: the Western Fanshell Mussel and the Butterfly Mussel.
The Western Fanshell Mussel, which can be found primarily in many southeastern Kansas counties, was first listed as a Species in Need of Conservation in 1987. In 1993, it landed on the endangered species list for Kansas.
The Butterfly Mussel can also be found in the same area as the Western Fanshell. It was listed as a Species in Need of Conservation in 1987 as well and was later marked as threatened in 1993 for the state of Kansas.