Wildlife Ways
Vicky Carder


Posted Wednesday, June 12, 2013, at 8:47 AM
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  • I watched a documentary on the Amazon Rain Forrest the other night and discovered it has now been logged so much that like only 30% of the actual forest is left and the animals are now starting to invade the villages and such, like poisonous snakes...we do not have much of any natural habitats left here on earth for our animal friends....we either poison them with chemicals or they become harmed and die off because we take their feeding areas...the bears in the smokies and in parts of the states are getting more common to see in neighborhoods looking for food....kind of makes you wonder what the future holds for even the few species we have left.

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Wed, Jun 12, 2013, at 11:23 AM
  • Excellent post, chefgrape!

    Do you think it strange that we automatically think about "foreign" animals and places when we hear the word "endangered"?

    Have we been indoctrinated by the World Wildlife Fund? (I would LOL if it weren't such a serious subject.)

    -- Posted by wildwoman on Wed, Jun 12, 2013, at 4:56 PM
  • I think the Mussel endangerment has been brought on by man not trapping due to animal protection groups scorning fur wearers.When I was younger the rivers and creeks were full of Mussel.When fur prices dropped because of lack of demand Muskrat,Otter and others multiplied with no control.Float down the river and pull up on a gravel bar and look where 1000's (mussel)have been eaten by these.Put a bounty on these animals and watch the Mussel population grow back.Then wait a few years and watch them put Muskrat and Otter on the endangered list.Then in a few more years the Mussel will be gone again.It is a circle with no beginning and no end.

    -- Posted by mytaxesaremine on Wed, Jun 12, 2013, at 6:46 PM
  • i hate to break the news,

    but those thousands of mussels are being pulled out by humans seeking freshwater pearls.

    but the real threat to them is the water temperature changes caused by all the dams, and the pollution in the water.

    -- Posted by lazarus on Wed, Jun 12, 2013, at 8:33 PM
  • About your P.S. . . . my hummers seemed to leave for awhile and now are coming around. What was the reason? Is this normal?

    -- Posted by bbbluebird on Thu, Jun 13, 2013, at 8:33 AM
  • lazarus, I beg to differ with you,but I have never seen anyone looking for fresh water pearls on the Duck River.I have watched Muskrat drag them out on these gravel bars and eat them.Float from Dement bridge down to Three Forks bridge and then reply back, or find a creek with Muskrat and look at the sand bars and gravel bars.They to will be covered with shell.These mussel would have a pearl the size of a grain of sand if any.They do dredge for Mussel in the Tennessee River and I will agree with you it is for fresh water pearls.They do however catch these and implant sand to make them produce pearls.They also raise and release small ones to keep the population in order.

    -- Posted by mytaxesaremine on Thu, Jun 13, 2013, at 12:00 PM
  • bbbluebird - some of those hummers aren't yours! LOL The birds you see early in the year are those migrating further north. Your birds arrive in later June and July and will be with you until October!

    -- Posted by wildwoman on Thu, Jun 13, 2013, at 4:17 PM
  • I used to love floating the rivers when I was a kid. The mussels were everywhere. Then about 20 years ago I returned to several of the rivers. Besides an apalling amount of trash, there were a lot of differences. One was that there were scarcely any mussels. There were mounds of mussel shells heaped on the gravel bars, and i am talking about truckload sized piles. I was told they had been rooted out in search of freshwater pearls. This was on the Buffalo and the Duck, altho not up here, but closer to the Tennessee River... and about 20 years ago.

    As far as our local mussels are concerned, the cold water released from dams (it comes from the bottom of the impoundment) interferes with their ability to reproduce. Muskrats can't eat enough to have any effect on the normal population.

    -- Posted by lazarus on Thu, Jun 13, 2013, at 4:21 PM
  • Thanks for the answer wildwoman!

    -- Posted by bbbluebird on Thu, Jun 13, 2013, at 4:21 PM
  • Our summer campers have been here about 10-14 days. These seem to get along better and I presume that is because they are courting and more "leniency" is allowed.

    That reminds me, I have a new batch of sugar water ready to go out.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jun 13, 2013, at 5:18 PM
  • I think I started the Mussel War??? LOL

    -- Posted by wildwoman on Fri, Jun 14, 2013, at 12:46 PM
  • And just how many Mussel can one Muskrat eat a week?30 a night.5 Muskrat 30 a night 365 days in a year thats 54,750 Mussel from one river or stream.Can you think if there were 50-100 on the same river.Thats over 1,000,000 Mussel eaten a year.

    -- Posted by mytaxesaremine on Fri, Jun 14, 2013, at 1:40 PM
  • Now you are just being silly. There was a 9-year study done on muskrat predation on mussels: http://fishwild.vt.edu/mussel/PDFfiles/muskrat.pdf

    I would copy the conclusion if it were not a pdf file; it does consider muskrats a threat to isolated populations of specific endangered mussels, due to the preferential eating habits of muskrats (they have favorite mussels). In total muskrat predation accounted for about 16% of mussel populations over a 9 year period. The primary threat to mussels is the dams which have only left fragmented habitat suitable for reproduction.

    -- Posted by lazarus on Fri, Jun 14, 2013, at 5:24 PM
  • That is those Virginia muskrats.They are almost Yankees and I will have nothing to do with them,much less a study on them. M thar Tennseess Muskrats eats a lot more Mussel cause they are true Southerners.I even seen me a Muskrat deep frying up some Mussel in Lard.Relax lazarus and tell me your thought on Cold Fusion.

    -- Posted by mytaxesaremine on Fri, Jun 14, 2013, at 10:06 PM
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