Conservation, artificial reproduction and reintroduction

The LIFE+ protection and conservation of Margaritifera auricularia project is divided in 4 different axes.  One of these axes is a pole of conservation, reproduction and reintroduction into the environment in order to reinforce and rejuvenate the existing populations.

The laboratory built on the Chinon site will enable to breed Giant Pearl Mussels in order to reintroduce them in the environment.

Every year, adults of Giant Pearl Mussel will be collected in the environment during the breeding period (march to april) to collect glochidias (larvas) in laboratory.

The adult mussels are then placed back into their natural environment while the larvas are put in contact with the sturgeons for them to encyst ont their gills. After approximately a month, these ones are juveniles and unhook from the sturgeons. They are collected to be bred in artificial canals. The mortality rate is very important during the first months and the grown mussels are still very vulnerable during their first years. Their reintroduction in the environment will occur after the third or fourth year, for them to be more resistant.