A protected species in danger of extinction

Long ago, the Giant Pearl Mussel was living in many rivers all over Western Europe, but its population fell drastically over the past two centuries, and it had even been believed extinct for many years. In 1998, a specimen was found in the Charente. This first rediscovery led to further researches on Maragaritifera auricularia and other specimens were identified in the Vienna and in the Ebro in Spain. Despite these rediscoveries, this specie is still extremely vulnerable and is subject of different conservation and protection status :

Conservation status : global scale

On a global scale, Margaritifera auricularia is listed as critically endangered on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. 

Protection status

Europeen level
Margaritifera auricularia is included in the Annex IV to the Habitats Directive and the Annex II of the Bern Convention. At the request of Europe, a National Action Plan, for the specie was furthermore set.

National level : France
Margaritifera auricularia is protected pursuant to Article 2 of the Decree of the 23 April 2007 fixing the list of protected shellfishs on the whole territory and the types of protection.

The Giant Pearl Mussel is part of the species essential to the creation of ZNIEFF in the Centre region (2003), in Midi-Pyrénées (2004) and in Poitou-Charentes (2001)..