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The Republic , February 13, 2012

Agency adds 2 freshwater mussel types found in Michigan to federal endangered species list

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich.(AP) -- Two freshwater mussels native to parts of the Midwest and East have been placed on the federal endangered species list.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Monday it had granted endangered status to the rayed bean and the snuffbox. Both are found in rivers in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee and other states.

She said said improving water quality to save the mussels will also benefit people.

They've disappeared from more than two-thirds of their historical ranges.

Threats to both species include loss of habitat from construction of dams and pollution from chemical releases, mining and sediment buildup.

The government will develop recovery plans for the mussels. It also will become illegal to kill or harm them.

Tierra Curry is a scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity. She said said improving water quality to save the mussels will also benefit people.

This article originally appeared here.

Photo © Paul S. Hamilton