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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Resources to conduct five year review of species in Kentucky

Photo of the six species of mussels that are part of the five year review
Taylor Fagin
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Resources
Photo of the six species of mussels that are part of the five year review

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is conducting their five year status reviews of 59 endangered or threatened fish, wildlife, and plants. In Kentucky, Six species of mussel and one plant are part of this review.

Aaron Valenta is the division chief in the regional office of recovery for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Resources. He said these studies help determine how a species is categorized.

“So with a five year status review, the outcome could be “no change in status,” if it's a threatened species we can either say “down list to recovered,” or “up list to endangered.” If it is an endangered species, we can say “down list to threatened,” or call it recovered.”

Taylor Fagin is a biologist who studies these mussels. He said half of the mussel species on the list are primarily found in southeast Kentucky.

“We have three species, the Cumberland Bean, Cumberlandian Combshell, and the Little Wing Pearly Mussel, so those would be in the Cumberland River Basin. The Rabbit's Foot and Fat Pocketbook are in more of the the great Ohio River.”

Fagin said the public is invited to provide information and comments concerning these species on or before August 5th. However, the Service encourages the submission of new information on any species at any time.  The review is expected to take up to a year to complete. 

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Stan Ingold is WEKU's News Director. He has worked in public broadcasting for 18 years, starting at Morehead State Public Radio before spending the past 10 years at Alabama Public Radio. Stan has been honored with numerous journalism awards for his public radio reporting.
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