- Associated Press - Thursday, August 13, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is awarding a grant worth more than $901,000 to help preserve the habitat of mussels and the red-cockaded woodpecker in southern Arkansas.

The grant will let the state acquire 1,073 acres of upland habitat adjacent to the Saline River to help two freshwater mussel species. The service said the tract includes the largest population of winged mapleleaf mussels and one of the largest populations of the pink mucket mussel.

Also under the grant, woodpeckers will benefit by reconnecting populations at the Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge and the Warren Prairie State Natural Area.

Also benefiting under the grant is the rabbitsfoot mussel in Ashley County.

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