Three mussel species declared extinct

Say good-bye to three more species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week recommended removing three species of mussel from the Endangered Species List because they have not been seen in decades and are considered "likely extinct."

All three mussel species were added to the ESL in 1976. But the turgid-blossom pearlymussel and yellow-blossom pearlymussel have not been observed in more than 40 years, while the green-blossom pearlymussel has not been found in 26 years.

A recovery plan (PDF) for these species was established years ago, but with no existing mussel populations, it was never possible to actually execute the plan.

This recommendation doesn't automatically drop the mussels from the Endangered Species List. A separate rulemaking process will now begin, and the public will have a chance to comment before any decision is made.

Too bad it's too late for the mussels to have a say.