ELLIPSE MUSSEL (Venustaconcha ellipsiformis)
This freshwater mussel has a moderately thick shell which is elliptical and elongated. It grows to approximately 2.5 inches. The exterior is yellowish-brown to chestnut with many wavy green rays on the posterior half. The interior is mostly white with the center salmon to coppery colored. The species is an obligate riverine species that prefers clean streams with moderate flow over gravel substrate. The population only occurs in the Spring River.
SPECIES PROTECTION AND CRITICAL HABITATS
Ellipse Mussels are protected by the Kansas Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act and administrative regulations applicable thereto. Any time an eligible project is proposed that will impact the species' preferred habitats within its probable range, the project sponsor must contact the Ecological Services Section, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, 512 SE 25th Ave., Pratt, Kansas 67124-8174. Department personnel can then advise the project sponsor on permit requirements.
DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITATS
As defined by Kansas Administrative Regulations, critical habitats include those areas documented as currently supporting self-sustaining population(s) of any threatened or endangered species of wildlife as well as those areas determined by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to be essential for the conservation of any threatened or endangered species of wildlife.
Currently, the following areas are designated critical for Ellipse Mussels.
(1) The main stem of the Spring River in Cherokee County from the Missouri/Kansas border (Sec. 1-T33S-R25E) to U.S. 66 (Sec. 17-T34S-R25E).