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Propagating mussel power to purify Virginia's freshwater

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Category: impact Video duration: Propagating mussel power to purify Virginia's freshwater
The Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Center at Virginia Tech is a cooperative research and propagation facility to restore and recover endangered freshwater mollusks in Virginia and adjacent states.
My name is Zack Taylor. I'm a fisheries technician here at the freshwater malls Conservation Center. This facility is muscle culture facility. We culture freshwater mussels, raised them until they're about 20 to 30 millimeters and suck them into streams with depleted most populations. We grow them in tanks. There's about 500 to 1000 per tank. We feed them every single day and then after about a year of being here will go out and release them from that point every probably once a year and we'll go back and do qualitative and quantitative surveys to make sure they're doing okay in there. We're live where we put them all throughout the site. There's a gravel bottom in this gravel bottom is where the freshwater mussels live. So we'd dig down into the substrate and we find the count all the freshwater mussels. And at the end of the day, glove information about the species that live here. And so that's the kind of information species that occur here, the density and then the overall abundance that we use to gauge the health of this river and this freshwater mussel community. Freshwater mussels. After feeding animals, they set up a mandala streams and they talk and water through their siphons. They get rid of all the bad things today, just how high streams and rivers, right? Excellent biosystem indicators. If you have a good population of freshwater mussels in your stream, you have a healthy stream. I mean, if you're lacking freshwater mussels, there could be an issue with the water quality and 70 percent of all freshwater mussel fauna is threatened or endangered in some way. So it's very important to conserve what's around. And one of the main ways to do that is through hatchery and propagation. Human beings, we have great power to change our landscape, to change the world around us. It's not just the humans that live on the Earth. There's trees, there's fish, There's cows, There's insects, and a whole slew of other creatures that we share this planet with. So because we have such a great power to change the Earth, we also have a great responsibility to be stewards to what we're living with the animals that we're learning. So I think it's, it's a great responsibility that we take on as, as biologists. There's something to be said for carry four species of animals that people don't often think.