The freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera) is a bivalve mollusc found in clean, fast-flowing rivers, and occasionally in lakes. It is a highly threatened animal, categorised as critically endangered in Ireland (Byrne et al., 2009) and across Europe (Cuttelod et al., 2011). 90% of all freshwater pearl mussels died out across Europe during the twentieth century. Owing to its threatened status and dramatic decline, the freshwater pearl mussel is listed on Annex II and Annex V of the Habitats Directive.
Follow the links below to read more about the freshwater pearl mussel and efforts to protect the species:
- Read about the 19 Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) where the species is listed for protection.
- The conservation status of the freshwater pearl mussel.
- Find out more about the causes of the decline in the freshwater pearl mussel population.
- Monitoring of the mussel.
- Details of legal protection (Survey Licences).
- The Conservation Objectives in SACs.
- Appropriate Assessment and the freshwater pearl mussel.
- Freshwater Pearl Mussel Data.
- Conservation measures undertaken by NPWS.