Mind the mussels: Protection for wetland habitats

Protecting two wetlands in the Hinds area is important to ensure habitats of freshwater mussels and native fish are not affected by grazing stock.

Work is underway to protect the habitat of freshwater mussels and native fish thanks to a local landowner and the Ashburton Water Zone Committee’s Immediate Steps fund.

Freshwater mussels, typically found in small-fast flowing streams, are under threat in New Zealand due to a loss of habitat.

A small population of the mussels have been found in the Upper Hinds Catchment in a stream in Swamp Grass wetland. This 8ha area is covered with silver tussock, carex, and native plants that provide shelter for native species along the stream margins.

The plants' growth has been stunted due to stock grazing so the funding will help to fence off the area to help it regenerate. A second wetland on the property will also be fenced off to protect carex and toetoe.

If you have a local biodiversity project that could benefit from funding support click here to find out more.