Mussel Watch Western Australia  

Report a mussel sighting!

Team Mussel Watch WA
Home | About us | How you can help | Latest findings/distribution map | About freshwater mussels | Resources & links

We need your helpWestralunio carteri South Western WAs only freshwater mussel
Whenever you find Westralunio carteri,
you can help by telling us about it.

Phone (08) 9360 7419
 0458 179 686
Report a mussel sighting      Report online

We will use the information you provide to create a database of mussel sites, which
will then be used to map the species distribution throughout south-western WA.


Sponsors & Partners

South East Regional Centre for Urban LandcareFreshwater Fish Group and Fish Health Unit WA
Department of Fisheries WADepartment of Environment and Conservation WASwan River Trust
Conservation Volunteers Australia Earth Assist

Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research
Murdoch UniversityCentral Institute Technology Perth WA
Challenger Institute Western AustraliaWestern Australian Museum
Department of Water
Lowlands Conservation Association
Serpentine River Group

What is Mussel Watch WA

MusselWatch is a website designed by Murdoch University researchers and community partners (SERCUL) to assist in the collection of species distributional information as well as an educational tool to create awareness about South West WA's only freshwater mussel (Westralunio carteri).

Freshwater mussels have important roles to play in river health. They feed by sucking water in through their ‘inhalent siphon’ and filtering out microscopic plankton, algae, bacteria and plant debris through their gills. They release clean, fresh water through their ‘exhalent siphon.’

Some scientists believe they have an especially important role in keeping a good standard of water quality in pools where freshwater fish retreat to over the dry, hot summer period.

Read more about freshwater mussels



About Westralunio carteri

Westralunio carteri is South West WA's only freshwater mussel. Because very little information on the biology, abundance and distribution of W. carteri exists, researchers at Murdoch University have begun work to identify the mussel’s life cycle and growth rates, environmental tolerances to salinity, temperature and drought, as well as updating and monitoring the species distribution and population information.

View our latest findings / distribution map



Red List status: "Facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in the medium-term future"

The species W. carteri was nominated for addition to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List on 26 July 1999, which has resulted in the current listing as vulnerable (VU) by the IUCN (IUCN, 2009). An animal is Vulnerable when it is not Critically Endangered or Endangered but is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in the medium-term future. The listing also has an annotation stating that it needs updating (IUCN, 2009). This species is listed as a Priority Fauna with a ranking of Priority 4 (P4) by the Department of Environment and Conservation of WA (DEC). A P4 species is defined as Rare, Near Threatened and other species in need of monitoring (DEC).