You Are At: AllSands Home > Science > Animals > Giant Clams
The giant clam has a new ally on its side, the Australian Navy. This endangered species has been driven to extinction in the balmy waters off many South Pacific islands and is a favorite among poachers. The Austrailian
heavy landing craft, known as the Tarakan, was used to transfer 3,000 clams weinging more than 20 tons from experimental beds off Orpheus Island. These clams had been artifically bred by biologists.
Eighteen divers from the Tarakan retrived the clams, some as large as two feet across and weighting up to forty pounds, loaded them into small dinghies and then transported them to new areas. The giant clams were kept
in salt water taknks, shaded from the sun durning the journey, to reduce any stress on the animal.
These clams are in danger of slipping into the dreaded category of mass extinction. Of the 300 species native to the United States, half are in serious trouble, 20 percent are already extinct, 60 are listed as
threatened, and 70 have started the process of getting on the endangered list.
The extinction of these mussles has been documented for decades but not much has been done. Habitats are dwindling at record numbers and humans are robbing the waters for selfish gains. Typical human endeavors that
damage the mussle population are: dams, over-fishing, poison by sewage discharge, toxic wastes and polluted runoff.
There is little of an emergency plan that can be put into action. Mankind needs to retrace its steps and work on builing a better environment for itself and the environment.