From the Missouri Conservationist Magazine
March 1999 Issue

Back Cover

elephant ear

Elephant-ear (Elliptio crassidens crassidens)

Nearly 78 percent of all North American freshwater mussel species have rapidly declining populations, and the elephant-ear (Elliptio crassidens crassidens) is no exception. The drop in mussel populations has been attributed to point and non-point source water pollution, improper gravel mining and damming of natural streams.

Mussels feed by filtering matter from the water and can tolerate only low levels of pollutants. Pesticides and heavy metals accumulate in their shells, which scientists can examine to determine water pollution levels. The decline of the elephant-ear and other mussels warns us that our water quality is also in decline.

-- Amy Seaveter, endangered species coordinator

Also in this issue

An Ozark Fire History

 Fire scars on trees reveal the history of human use of fire in the Ozarks.

The Fish With The Underneath Eye

Anglers are discovering a new fish in Missouri's big rivers.

Architects of The Air

Beavers may be called nature's engineers, but they can't compete with birds when it comes to ingenuity of home construction. Bird nests are among the most fascinating creations in the animal world, and Missouri has many varieties.

Opening Doors to Lake of the Ozarks

It's all about access, Conservation Department accesses, that is.

Happy Campers

Discover overnight adventures in the company of kids.

This Issue's Staff:

Editor - Tom Cwynar
Assistant Editor - Charlotte Overby
Managing Editor - Jim Auckley
Art Editor - Dickson Stauffer
Designer - Tracy Ritter
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Photographer - Jim Rathert
Photographer - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Staff Writer - Joan McKee
Composition - Libby Bode Block
Circulation - Bertha Bainer