Overview

Distribution

endemic to a single nation

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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Absent

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: (Zero (no occurrences believed extant)) Pleurobema altum (= Pleurobema fibuloides) was apparently restricted to the Coosa River drainage in Alabama and Georgia (Williams et al., 2008). In the Coosa River basin in Georgia, it is known historically from the Etowah, Oostanaula, and Conasauga River drainages but has not been collected there recently and is considered extinct (Williams and Hughes, 1998). It has not been encountered in nearly 100 years. As a result it is not currently recognized by the USFWS (as P. altum or otherwise) as threatened or endangered; most authors consider it extinct (Mirarchi et al., 2004).

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat Type: Freshwater

Comments: Nothing is known of microhabitat preferences or reproductive ecology although this species is known from the Coosa and Conasauga Rivers.

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Migration

Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 0 (zero)

Comments: This species has not been encountered in nearly 100 years. As a result, Pleurobema altum (= Pleurobema fibuloides) is not currently recognized by the USFWS as threatened or endangered; most authors consider it extinct (Mirarchi et al., 2004). It occurred in the Coosa River in Shelby County, Alabama, and upstream to the Upper Coosa and Conasauga Rivers in Georgia (Evans, 2001; Gangloff, 2003). Historically it occurred from the headwaters of the Coosa River drainage downstream through its middle reaches with the most recent dated museum material collected from the Conasauga River in 1958 (Williams et al., 2008). FLMNH has specimens from the Coosa River in Shelby Co., Alabama, collected in 1913 and undated (older) material from the Coosa River in Floyd Co., Georgia, and Conasauga River in Georgia.

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Global Abundance

Zero, no individuals known extant

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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

Nothing is known of microhabitat preferences or reproductive ecology. The glochidial host is not known.

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NX - Presumed Extirpated

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GX - Presumed Extinct

Reasons: This species has not been encountered in nearly 100 years except for a single lot collected in 1958. As a result, it is not currently recognized by the USFWS as threatened or endangered; but most authors consider it extinct although the name originally attributed to it is now considered a nomen dubium with Pleurobema fibuloides proposed as a replacement.

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Unknown

Environmental Specificity: Unknown

Comments: Nothing is known of microhabitat preferences or reproductive ecology.

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Global Short Term Trend: Relatively stable (=10% change)

Global Long Term Trend: Decline of >90%

Comments: The most recent dated museum material collected from the Conasauga River in 1958 (Williams et al., 2008).

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Threats

Degree of Threat: Unknown

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Management

Global Protection: None. No occurrences appropriately protected and managed

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: The classification of the Gulf Coast species of Pleurobema is unsettled. Current researchers are recognizing what appears to be clinal variation in the group and as a result many species are being synonomized. This research is still in progress and will likley result in the recognition of fewer species-level taxa in this genus (Kandl et al., 2001). The species to which the name Pleurobema altum has previously been applied is Pleurobema fibuloides (see Williams et al., 2008). Simpson (1900; 1914) included P. fibuloides in the synonym of P. altum. Conrad (1854) described Unio altum, giving the type locality as "one of the western states, probably Tennessee". However the brief description was incomplete, omitting details about the umbo cavity (an important diagnostic feature of Mobile Basin Pleurobema). The type specimen of U. altum has been lost. Without comment or discussion, Simpson (1900) gave the distribution of P. altum as Conasauga River, Georgia, and later (Simpson, 1914) gave the type locality as "Tennessee?" Most subsequent authors have recognized P. altum as a Coosa River drainage endemic (e.g. Frierson, 1927; Hurd, 1974; Stansbery, 1976). However, with incomplete description, vague type locality, and absence of a type specimen, recognition of U. altum is unjustified and considered a nomen dubium (Williams et al., 2008).

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