Strategic Habitat and River Reach Units for Aquatic Species of Conservation Concern in Alabama and Adjoining States

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in conjunction with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Geological Survey of Alabama have selected watersheds and river segments in the five major Hydrologic Unit 4 subregions in Alabama to focus conservation activities for managing, recovering, and restoring populations of rare fishes, mussels, snails, and crayfishes. These Strategic Habitat Units (SHUs) and Strategic River Reach Units (SRRUs) include a substantial part of Alabama’s remaining high-quality water courses and reflect the variety of aquatic habitats occupied by these species historically and presently.

Summary of 2012 Mollusk Reintroductions
Being able to reintroduce imperiled species back into their historic habitats is one of the keys to recovery.  In 2012, Dr. Paul Johnson and his staff at the Alabama Aquatic Biodiversity Center reintroduced 12 mussel and 3 snail species back into areas where they no longer occurred.  This is by far one of the largest aquatic restoration efforts in the United States.   As you will notice from the map, a total of 15 reintroductions were conducted in 2012, in 12 different locations. (Map created by ADCNR)

Tulotoma magnifica Downlisting Poster
In 2011, the Tulotoma snail became the first North American mollusk species, protected under the Endangered Species Act, to be downlisted.  The species was originally listed because of loss of habitat and a severe decline in its range.  By 2011, the species had expanded its range because of water quality improvements, habitat improvements, and discovery of new populations.