Pearls in Peril

Pearl mussels EU LIFE

This exciting new nationwide project will act to safeguard important populations of freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera).

  • The project spans four years from 2012 to 2016. In that time, a wide range of conservation measures will be implemented in key river systems

The measures will aim to:

  • RESTORE the habitat of freshwater pearl mussel and salmonids (salmon and trout);
  • SECURE the long term survival of existing freshwater pearl mussel populations;
  • and COMMUNICATE with local, national and international audiences to raise awareness of freshwater pearl mussel conservation issues

Best practice methods will be used to secure freshwater pearl mussel populations and some of these actions include:

  • Restore and improve riparian habitat by planting native trees and fencing riverbanks;
  • Pearls In The Classroom - an education programme to raise awareness of the freshwater pearl mussel amongst children;
  • Reduce diffuse pollution by ditch blocking, creating buffer strips and wetlands;
  • Employ a riverwatch scheme to reduce the risk from wildlife crime;
  • Encyst juvenile salmon with local pearl mussel larvae;
  • Monitor water quality, habitat restoration, pearl mussel populations and host salmonids;
  • and Raise awareness of freshwater pearl mussels and the project

A total of 21 rivers across Britain will be involved, all of which are NATURA 2000 sites and are designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs). A river within Snowdonia National Park is now part of the project.

Find out more

Last updated