Sunday, September 26, 2010

Asian Clam invades Irish Freshwaters

Recent reports have shown that the aquatic invasive species Asian Clam (Corbicula fluminea), which was recorded for the first time in Ireland in April this year in the River Barrow in County Carlow,  is more widespread than previously thought. The mollusc has also been recorded in Lough Corrib and the Grand Canal. Canals are trans-catchment waterways that have significantly accelerated the spread of invasive species in other countries.

The clam originally comes from south-eastern Asia and grows very rapidly reaching high densities in a short period of time. Like the Zebra Mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) it significantly damages the food web and excludes the native mussel species. In the US the mussel is estimated to cause in excess of a $1 billion of damage each year. The National Invasive Species Database has asked that any suspected sightings be reported to them with a photograph if possible so that identification can be confirmed. Link

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