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Map Layer Info

Zebra Mussel and Quagga Mussel Distribution

What this map layer shows:

Locations where zebra and quagga mussels, invasive species of mollusks, have been found in fresh waters.
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Background Information
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Non-native plants, animals, and microbes that have been intentionally or unintentionally introduced into an environment may cause environmental or economic harm or be a threat to human health. When these introduced species do not have enough natural enemies to limit their reproduction and spread they can rapidly expand their range and become invasive species. The spread of invasive species is one of the most serious ecological problems facing our Nation in the 21st century. Aquatic invaders like these mussels are transforming our wetlands and inland waters. They threaten native communities and alter native habitats; they foul beaches, create boating and navigational hazards, and cause millions of dollars of damage to municipal and private facilities relying on fresh water. Zebra and quagga mussels have been steadily invading America's rivers and lakes. Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey are documenting their geographic distribution and studying the mussels' behavior and biology. Documenting the geographic distribution of zebra and quagga mussels is just one step toward developing strategies to control their spread.

The Zebra Mussel and Quagga Mussel Distribution map layer features the locations of confirmed sightings of these mussels from 1986 to June 2011. Reports of sightings came from a variety of Federal, State, and municipal agencies, public utilities, universities, engineering firms, and private consultants. Additional information for each sighting includes the year the sighting occurred and a textual description of where the mussel was found (for example, Hudson River at buoy 25, below West Point). Additional information on zebra mussels is available from the USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Site, Zebra Mussel and Quagga Mussel Information Resource Page, and from the USGS Invasive Species Program.