A new report focuses on freshwater mussels: researchers have carefully studied this particular species, but the work
Mussels play an important role in the purification of the waters of many rivers and lakes in the world, but they are under threat. One of the new ways to conserve them is to move populations that are under threat.
A parasitic gonad-eating wormRhipidocotyle campanula has proven to be very dangerous for mussels. And when they move to other larger groups, the parasite can move to the rest: one infected mussel is enough to spread this parasite.
We need to be much more careful when moving animals to new locations for conservation purposes, because the costs can outweigh the benefits.
David Aldridge, Ph.D., Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, senior author of the report.
In extreme cases, pathogens can lead to a complete collapse of the mussel population.
The report recommends that the views moveonly when absolutely necessary, and quarantine periods specifically designed to stop transmission of the most likely transmitted pathogens were used.
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