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Wildlife refuge biologist in West Virginia honored for endangered mussel conservation

Patricia Morrison of Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge has been selected as a 2016 Recovery Champion for her leadership in recovering freshwater mussels like the purple cat’s paw pearlymussel and orange-foot pimpleback.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Acting Director Jim Kurth noted that Morrison’s “leadership, professionalism, and commitment to sound science have helped foster highly successful partnerships involving 24 state and Federal agencies and nonprofit organizations.”

During her tenure as the wildlife biologist for the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge, Patricia Morrison worked tirelessly to secure partnerships and funding to advance the recovery of imperiled mussel species including pink mucket, clubshell, orange-foot pimpleback, spectaclecase, purple cat's paw pearlymussel, northern riffleshell, fanshell, ring pink, white wartyback, and sheepnose. Her work led to significant conservation milestones including the establishment of new mussel populations and advances in propagation techniques such as the first ever in-vitro propagation of orange-foot pimpleback. These efforts greatly reduced extinction likelihood by addressing population decline and population fragmentation for these species.

Recovery Champions are U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff and their partners whose work is advancing the recovery of endangered and threatened species of plants and animals.

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