Invertebrates

Tan Rifleshell

Range: Found only in two rivers in Eastern Tennessee and three in southwest Virginia. Unconfirmed populations reportedly found in the Cumberland River in Tennessee. Conservation Status: Listed as endangered under ESA in 1977. No critical habitat has been designated. Remaining Population: The current population is unknown. The 2001 population in Indian Creek was determined to be around 2000 adults. Threat: Coal mining, and particularly coal ash, has polluted the rivers where the Tan Rifflsehell lives. Background The tan riffleshell, might… Continue reading

Elkhorn Coral

Once the most abundant and important reef-building corals in Florida and the Caribbean, elkhorn corals have declined by more than 90 percent in many areas, mainly as a result of disease and “bleaching. “ Threats related to Global Warming The rising temperature of the ocean as a result of global warming is the single greatest threat to this coral species, as well as coral reefs more generally worldwide. When corals are stressed by warm ocean temperatures, they experience bleaching –… Continue reading