Recultivating the swan mussel
by Selina Treffner
A pilot project
The swan mussel, (‘Anodonta cygnea’), is a large species of freshwater mussel. It used to call Lake Woerthersee its home but for several years now could not be found there anymore. In a pilot project we are now trying to recultivate a smaller population of swan mussels in the Natura 2000 site Lendspitz-Maiernigg. The mussels were taken from a nearby freshwater pond, measured, weighed, and employed in their new home. We will check on a regular basis how they are doing and if this pilot project is successful.
Interesting to know: The mussel lives in symbiosis with the Amur bitterling (‘Rhodeus amarus’) which lays its eggs in the mussel’s breathing opening where they will be protected until they hatch.
We thank biologist Dr. Andreas Kleewein for carrying out the underwater conservation measures. They had been agreed upon beforehand with the city council of Klagenfurt, the province of Carinthia and were accompanied by the local fisheries control. The recultivation of the swan mussel is one part of a larger conservation project in the Natura 2000 site Lendspitz-Maiernigg in Klagenfurt financed also by Blühendes Österreich.