Back Cover

By |
From Missouri Conservationist: Mar 1999

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

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