It is hoped that the increased protection all the species have received in recent years will contribute to their continued survival and reversal in fortunes in years to come. Many organisations are working towards securing and enhancing the status of pearl mussels, Atlantic salmon and lamprey species. The designation of Special Areas of Conservation will focus efforts on maintaining the most important populations throughout Europe and lessons that are learned within these sites will be disseminated around, and outwith, the EU.
Within the UK the critically endangered freshwater pearl mussel is the subject of a Biodiversity Action Plan that is working towards increasing their numbers and range in Scotland. Salmon, lampreys and pearl mussels are also the subject of local Biodiversity Action Plans which target actions on local populations throughout Scotland.
It is vital that pearl mussels, lampreys and salmon all continue to survive and prosper again in our rivers as they are all important indicators of general river quality, support a long and illustrious cultural heritage and, as has been illustrated, have important and fascinating roles to play in river ecology.