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Status review set on at-risk mussels

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will conduct a five-year status review of two mussels in Arkansas, the agency announced last week.

The Neosho mucket mussel is considered endangered and the rabbitsfoot mussel is considered threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

The mussels received critical habitat designation in 2015 after nearly two years of dispute over how much land should be designated for them.

Last year, the Fish and Wildlife Service released a six-page draft recovery plan for the Neosho mucket.

The plan calls for establishing "viable populations" in the four watersheds in four states where the mussel is found. Additional but lower priorities include protecting and improving the Neosho mucket's habitat, ensuring that policies and regulations to protect the mussel are being followed, monitoring the mussel, preventing the spread of competitive nonnative species, researching and reviewing progress.

An agency official in Arkansas told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette last year that implementation of best management practices for land use would generally reduce sedimentation and runoff and improve water quality.

The mussel has disappeared from about 62 percent of its historical range, according to the service.

The agency is conducting status reviews for 36 species, and the mussels are the only Arkansas species included.

Science Cafe puts spotlight on ticks

People can learn all about ticks and how changes in the environment might affect the insect's populations in Arkansas at the next Science Cafe Little Rock.

The forum is called "Arkansas, Ticks and You," and it will be from 7-9 p.m. April 23 at Hibernia Irish Tavern on North Rodney Parham, according to a news release from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. People can also listen to a live radio call-in program featuring one of the panelists from 6:05 to 6:30 p.m. on KUAR-FM.

The forum's panel will consist of three professors and will be hosted by Dorothy Graves, associate director for administration at the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the release states. The panelists will be UAMS microbiology and immunology professor Jon Blevins; University of Arkansas, Fayetteville entomology faculty associate professor Ashley Dowling; and UA entomology professor Kelly Loftin.

"Panelists will discuss the incidence of various ticks, their hosts, tick-borne diseases and the impacts of urbanization, recreation and farming on tick populations in Arkansas," the release states.

The monthly Science Cafe is a product of the UAMS Graduate School, the Arkansas Biosciences Institute, the UAMS Division of Research, KUAR, the American Chemical Society's central Arkansas chapter and Hibernia Irish Tavern.

Recycling days set for old electronics

Recycling officials in Pulaski County will be collecting electronics for disposal for two days this month at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock.

The Regional Recycling and Waste Reduction District, a state regional solid-waste management district operating in Pulaski County, will collect electronics for recycling from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. April 23 and 24, a news release from the district states.

The collection will be in the Verizon Arena parking lot next to East Washington Avenue.

Electronics equipment can be reused in new electrical products or otherwise recycled, the news release states.

Electronics that can be dropped off include computers and cellphones, and people can look up what else is acceptable at RecyclingUnplugged.com.

The collection is open only to Pulaski County residents and Pulaski County businesses, or other organizations operating in the county.

Metro on 04/16/2019

Print Headline: Status review set on at-risk mussels Science Cafe puts spotlight on ticks Recycling days set for old electronics

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