Freshwater Pearl Mussel
Freshwater pearl mussels are a large species of mussel that occur in very clean streams and rivers (and occasionally lakes). They are Ireland’s longest-living animal with lifespans of over 120 years, making some of these creatures older than the state itself. Despite large numbers remaining in some rivers, they have declined dramatically in the last century and are currently on the verge of extinction due to the fact that no young mussels are surviving to adulthood in many cases. The main reason for this is losses of fine sediment and nutrients from the land to the freshwater habitat.
The KerryLIFE project is collaborating closely with landowners in the Caragh and Kerry Blackwater catchments to develop sustainable land management techniques that can benefit both the local communities and the environment.