LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas is slated to receive a $1.3 million federal grant to build a conservation corridor to protect several species on the federal endangered list, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday.
The grant is among $32 million in wildlife service grants to 20 states intended to boost efforts to conserve the nation’s rarest species, the agency said.
In Arkansas, the grant will enable the acquisition of 1,611 acres of important riparian and upland habitat adjacent to the Saline River in Ashley County to directly benefit two federally listed endangered freshwater mussels, the winged mapleleaf and pink mucket.
The grant also will benefit the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker and serve to protect the rabbitsfoot, a mussel recently proposed for listing as threatened, the agency said, and will help further achievement of the recovery criteria for these species by protecting known population locations.
The wildlife service said the project will increase protection of the most important section of the Saline River for mussels west of the Mississippi River.