You may have already known that the Great State of Alabama ranks fifth in the nation in terms of biodiversity, and tops in the U.S. when it comes to the numbers of freshwater fish and mollusks. Well, our ranking appears to be improving a bit more with a recent discovery -- err, re-discovery -- in the beautiful Cahaba River.
According to The Birmingham News, a doctoral student paddling a kayak (sorry, we don't know the brand) recently ran across a snail that had been written off as extinct since 2000. The oblong rocksnail previously lived in many parts of the Cahaba River, but its numbers steadily declined to the point of near-extinction as a result of sewage, runoff, and industrial point-source pollution. This latest discovery is exciting because the colony discovered appears to be thriving, but unfortunately the colony itself occupies only a tiny segment of the River.
You can read more about the oblong rocksnail here, courtesy of al.com. Or, you can search for the snail yourself if you plan a day trip on the Cahaba in Bibb County. We highly recommend any paddle of the Cahaba -- it is one of the prettiest rivers in the State, though unfortunately also one of the most threatened. More information about efforts to save the Cahaba is available at the website of the Cahaba River Society, www.cahabariversociety.org.