What is this project?
The Land Conservation Foundation wants to raise $6,000 to accomplish two things:
1) Continue conducting biological surveys for mudpuppies, freshwater mussels, and fish in the Sangamon River Corridor and
2) Spread the word about the rich biodiversity in this river through developing educational materials and hosting its third annual Mudpuppy Festival at the Monarch Brewing Company in Monticello, Illinois.
What will this project accomplish?
The Sangamon River is listed on the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory due to the large number of mussel species (17 in all) that live there, and the threatened mudpuppy. Biological surveys are important because they tell us about the health and population of these creatures. We survey the mussels in late summer, meaning we see who and how many we can find, and then we survey the mudpuppy population in late winter.
We are particularly interested in finding the mudpuppy. It is the host species for the salamander mussel. In fact, it is the only host species the mussel uses in its life cycle; no mudpuppy, no salamander! Finding mudpuppies would mean baby salamander mussels can grow in the Sangamon River and, of course, increase their population!
As proof of completion, a final report and photographs will be provided to donors 2 years after the project is funded, no later than January 15, 2022.